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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 









The Diamond Fields of South Africa occupy, at present, the precise 
position that the gold discoveries of California and Australia did some 
years ago. Hundreds of emigrants are waiting for reliable information 
before starting for these fields. Journalists in the Old World and the 
New have been attracted by the dazzling accounts of the valuable 
gems that have been found. These finds have been published with 
all the attractiveness that bold type could give them, but, with the 
bare announcement, all information has ended, and most of those who 
have read the news and sighed at the success of the lucky ones, know 
as little of the land where these fortunes have been picked up, as they 
do of the interior arrangement of the crater of Vesuvius. It is a very 
noticeable feature connected with the diamond regions, that the in- 
formation which has been disseminated through the medium of the 
press, has, more frequently than otherwise, been unreliable, and in no 
instance, probably from the fact that in a newspaper sufficient space 
could not be afforded, has there been published the details which alone 
could guide those abroad in determining whether it is advisable for 
them to try their fortune in diamond digging in South Africa. A large 
number of pamphlets, it is true, have been circulated ; but it must be 
remembered that most, if not all of them, have emanated from those 
who have some object or other to induce emigration. The writer of 
this has no interest to serve but that of giving those particulars which 
he conceives will be of assistance to those whose thoughts are turned 
tow r ard the Cape Colony in consequence of these diamond discoveries. 
It is very probable that this pamphlet may have the effect of prevent- 
ing some men from throwing up comfortable certainties at home to 
embark in this great diamond lottery; but those who come, after hav- 
ing gone carefully through this work, will, it is certain, be of the 
right class ; and will no more regret their hazard at the fields than the 
colony will have to mourn over their presence. But it is patent that 




the pamphlets which have been issued as mere advertising mediums, 
mere baits to catch emigrants, will do more harm to South Africa than 
it is possible for any one, at the present stage of the history of the 
fields, to well calculate. It is not absurd, it is absolutely cruel to 
bring men to these shores under the delusion that, if they land with 
£10 in their pockets, they have done the vvisest thing possible, and 
that fortunes they must make. On the other hand, it would be the 
height of absurdity to warn people that they must not try diamond 
seeking in this land. To a very large number of persons the best 
advice that could be given them would be, " start at once ; " to prob- 
ably a very much larger number it would be equally judicious to 
say, "stay at home and mind the business you are now employed 
it. ,, This will be best understood from the detailed accounts given 
hereafter, and the particulars of practical experience at the fields will 
convey, more clearly than any general remarks, the necessary informa- 
tion to those who are desirous of knowing anything regarding this 
diamond country. The tales of good fortune and ill success will serve 
the purpose of conveying the truth better than any comments on the 
probabilities of finding. There can be no doubt but that these fields 
open up a new existence for this colony which has, for a long number 
of years, been unproductive for so vast an extent of land. Colonized 
by the Dutch two hundred years ago — since then the great half-way 
house from England to India — having been a wine-producing country for 
a long period, it has still fallen year by year in thccolonial scale of 
superiority. At one time its vast extent of land gave rise to the hope 
that it was eminently suited for a wool-producing country. Flocks 
soon spread over the land, bidding fair to compete in number with that 
scourge of the Cape, the locusts. Cape wool, for a while, pushed the 
colony into the stream of prosperity. But then came the de facto 
closing of the United States' market to colonial wool. The wool ex- 
ports of South America to England increased with marvelous rapidity. 
Australia, too, surpassed the Cape, and so wool fell in price. The South 
African wool merchant and the South African sheep farmer had his 
dream of wealth dispelled like the melting of the morning mists before 
the rising sun. The flocks are still increasing and wool still pays ; but 
South Africa has learned that upon its wool exports it can not for the 
future depend for its whole support. Colonists had to turn their atten- 
tion to other products; and, when all was doubt and uncertainty, when 
the colonial future appeared at its darkest, the diamond fields burst 


into light like a silver lining to the cloud. For a very considerable 
while the colonists refused to place any credence in these diamond 
reports which had reached the cars of the diamond merchants and 
speculators of Europe. One of the largest of the English firms plau- 
sibly, with the intention of setting all doubts to rest, sent, in 18G8, a Mr. 
Gregory to the Cape for the purpose of inspecting and reporting on the 
probabilities of the existence of diamond mines. Mr. Gregory arrived, 
made a hurried run through the colony, went no farther than Coles- 
burg, where it was never pretended diamonds had been found, and 
then returned to his employers with the assertion that Cape diamoncs 
were a myth, a delusion, and a snare. This had the effect of settling 
for a few months the diamond fever, which had begun to spread 
throughout the colony ; but Mr. Gregory's opinions were very shorily 
scattered to the winds by the announcement that a farmer named Van 
Niekerk had taken to Aliwal a diamond which had been purchased by 
Messrs. Lilienfield Bros, for £11,500. The transition was so great from 
Gregory to Niekerk that colonists were more credulous than ever. 
The owners of the gem were, however, well assured of the value of 
their concession. The "Star of South Africa" was sent to England 
with all due deference to its importance and value. The report of the 
diamond buyers at home confirmed the fact that " the Star" was all 
its owners pretended it Was. This intelligence was received with o TC at 
rejoicing in the country. The colonial press was down on Gregory; 
and the witticism of the hour, if you desired to tell a man that he 
had uttered a falsehood, w^as, that he had told a Gregory. On the 
receipt of this news the tide of emigration to the Vaal commenced, and 
has continued to increase ever since. In 1870 the finds were so nu- 
merous and so valuable— the exports, too, so large, that the control- 
era of the diamond markets in Europe could no longer hope to delude 
themselves or their customers with the belief that there were no such 
things as diamonds to be found in South Africa. Mr. Costa, of the emi- 
nent firm of Costa & Co., of Amsterdam, wont post-haste to Capetown 
and condemned the fields, as far as he was concerned, although not deny- 
ing the fact that diamonds were being found. He thought it probable 
that he would return to South Africa if the discoveries were larger. 
He had hardly left before the finds increased marvelously on what they 
had been before. The diggers were of a different stamp to those who 
had been at work previously ; they had better machinery, hence their 
success. This brings us up to the end of 18G9, and we then find some 


hundreds of men at the diggings. During the next year the numbers 
increased from hundreds to thousands, and now from all parts of the 
world people are making tracks for the Vaal— with what chance of 
success the particulars given elsewhere will best explain. 

The following note from Mr. D. G. Croly, of the New York World, 
tells its own story :* 

World Office, March, 15, 1872. 
J. L. Babe— Dear Sir : During the temporary absence of Mr. Manton Marble, the 
editor-in-chief of the New York World, you ask me for some testimony as to your 
trustworthiness. I can only say that I have known you as a correspondent of the 
World from South Africa for the past two years, and that so far as my personal 
knowledge extends, your statements can be implicitly relied upon. You were the 
first to inform the American public of the very great value of the South African Dia- 
mond Mines, and subsequent accounts have fully confirmed all you had written upon 
the subject. I know nothing of you personally, beyond the fact that you first visited 
South Africa as the agent of the Winchester Arms Co., and subsequently wrote letters 
for the New York World. I know nothing about South Africa, of my own personal 
knowledge, and would be the last person to advise any one to leave comfortable homes 
and assured positions in this country in the hope of securing possible fortunes in so 
remote a locality as the Diamond Fields of South Africa. D. G. Croly. 




I. Description of the Diamond Country 11 

II. Discovery of Diamonds 1G 

III. The Rush from the adjoining States 22 

IV. Synopsis of my Diary on my First Visit 27 

V. " " « « 31 

VI. " " « « 36 

VII. " " « « 40 

VIII. Pniel and Klip Drift 44 

IX. Other Mining Camps 50 

X. Manner of Mining and Outfits Required, Finds, etc 58 

XI. Discovery of the Dry Diggings and Visit to them 62 

XII. Manner of Mining, my own Success, Finds, etc 67 

XIII. Capetown 71 

XIV. Port Elizabeth 77 

XV. Ways to get to South Africa and the Mines from America. . 82 

XVI. Delagoa Bay, Portuguese Settlement, and the Gold Mines. . . 85 
XVII. Large Diamonds of the World and other Information 89 

Map of South Africa (special.) 

Capetown Frontispiece. * 

Diamond Washing 26 

Dry Sifter 57 

The House in which Diamonds were Found 63 

Sketch of my own Claim at the Dry Diggings 68 

Port Elizabeth *a 

1* ** 





A shilling (Is.) is a little less than 25 cents in gold. 

One pound sterling (£1) is a little less than $5 ; but for ordinary 
calculations it is best to consider Is. as 25 cents, £1 as $5, and 10s. 
as $2.50. 

Outspanned means unyoked or unharnessed. 

Inspan means to harness up, or yoke the cattle. 

Distances are counted by hours — 6 miJes to an hour. 

Treeing means moving on. 

4 grains = 1 carat. 

151£ carats — 1 ounce troy. 

The exact weight troy is 3£ grains — 1 carat. 





The diaraondiferous regions of South Africa embrace an 
area of at least 10,000 square miles. They are situated be- 
tween lat, 28° 30" south, and long. 24° 28" east (Greenwich). 
The Vaal River runs north and south through the center of 
this country, and most of the mining operations are carried 
on upon its borders. The Orange River runs along the 
southern part of the diamond district, and may be considered 
the southern boundary of the diamondiferous country, although 
a few diamonds have been found south of it in the Hopetown 
district of the colony. The Vaal River is a beautiful stream, 
lined nearly all its length with fine trees. The stream is 200 
feet wide opposite the great camps, and for a mile it is deep 
and smooth water; above and below are rapids with a fall of 
about twenty feet, and then smooth, deep water again; it is 
like this all up and down the river, the stretches of smooth 
water hardly ever being more than a mile in length. During 
the months of June, July, and August the river becomes very 
low; but I have never heard of its becoming dry, as most of 
the South African rivers do during these months. There is 
plenty of grass for cattle— say a mile from the banks of the 
river. The climate of the diamond regions is similar to that 
of California, equable and extremely healthy. From March to 
September not a drop of rain falls. The nights during this 
period are quite cold; overcoats are in requisition from dawn 
to nine o'clock, and at night double blankets are required to 
insure a comfortable rest ; ice would sometimes form one- 
quarter of an inch thick in the buckets left out at night with 
water in them. In September the warm weather sets in, ac- 
companied by frequent thunder-storms. A mild form of fever 


is then prevalent (especially among those who do not take care 
of themselves), but very seldom proves fatal. Considering the 
number of people at the mines, and their manner of living in 
tents and wagons, and off badly-cooked food, and the poor 
sanitary measures enforced in camp, it is astonishing how 
healthy the people are.* Now that the British Government 
have taken charge, and sent an able magistrate (Mr. Camp- 
bell) to preside over the district, better sanitary measures will 
be enforced, and the healthiness of the camps will improve. 
After crossing the Orange River and entering the diamond- 
iferous regions, the appearance of the country changes very 
perceptibly. Immense tracts or beds of w r ater-worn pebbles 
of all colors are to be seen. The country is slightly undu- 
lating table-land, 5,000 feet above the level of the sea, with 
here and there a series of kopies (hills) that are covered with 
immense bowlders of iron stone. Water is scarce at certain 
seasons of the year. There are no rivers that contain w^ater 
all the year round, excepting the Orange and Vaal. The 
farmers have to build dams at convenient places, which are 
filled during the rainy season, and the water lasts through the 
dry. At several of the inland farms where diamonds have 
been discovered, they have exhausted their supply of water 
by washing, and will have to cease mining until the rainy 
season sets in. Of course, this will be remedied by building 
larger dams. Most of the diamonds are found on the rand or 
spur of the kopies. The miners always look out for a " good 
wash" or deposit of water-worn pebbles. Diamonds are not 
found in all of these water-worn deposits, but they are never 
found where there are no water-w^orn pebbles. There are 
three different kinds of diamondiferous soil at Pniel. On our 
claim the first deposit, about six inches deep, was of a blackish 
color; the second, about five feet through, was of a reddish ; 

* Certificate.— I have much pleasure in availing myself of the present opportu- 
nity to certify, from personal experience, that in the latitude of the diamond fields, 
phthisis and ordinary pulmonary affections are of very rare occurrence. Patients 
whom we have sent there in the earlier stages of the ahove diseases are, to my own 
knowledge, in the enjoyment of re-established health, and in others— the despair of 
the physician— life has been prolonged for some years. The summer temperature 
is high, but does not enervate. The winter months are bright, clear, and bracing, 
affording a climate peculiarly adapted to patients troubled with disease of the lungs! 

P. Ensor, Surgeon Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital. 

Pobt Elizabeth, ^Zd August, 1870. 

- ' " 


and the last, eight feet, of a whitish color— pebbles all the 
way down, showing that the whole deposit had been under 
the action of water. At most of the other camps the pay-dirt 
is not more than from six inches to three feet, while at Pniel 
it is sometimes twenty-five feet. Under these deposits there 
is a bed of yellowish clay, that hardens into rock as von go 
down. No other gravel deposit has yet been discovered under 
this rock, and, singular enough, no diamonds have been dis- 
covered in the ravines, even those which bound the richest 
kopies. It may be that the rains wash them to the river 
direct. The river has not been worked yet in a proper man- 
ner. Some tried to drag it, but never found any diamonds, 
because, in the first place, the diamond is bound to work its 
way to the very bottom among the interstices of rock ; and 
in the second, the drags being flat, could not reach those de- 
posits. The only way to get them out is to turn the river 
into a flume or canal, and pump out the holes. This will re- 
quire capital, and I have no doubt will pay a rich dividend to 
any company that will undertake it. The diamond district is 
claimed by several white governments and native chiefs. 
That part which lies on the east bank of the Vaal River com- 
prises part of the " Orange River Free State," a Dutch repub- 
lic, settled by Dutch farmers who emigrated from the colony 
at its occupation by the English. Bloemfontien, a pretty 
place of about 1,000 inhabitants, is the capital. It is a well- 
laid out town, containing some very substantially-built and 
w^ell-stocked stores, a first-class hotel, and several well-built 
churches. Here the President resides and the Legislature 
meets. The President is elected for a term of years. The 
present one (John Brand) is quite popular. He is very kind 
and genial to strangers. The English language is spoken as 
freely as the Dutch, and quite a number of Englishmen reside 
there. The Orange River Free State has just been recog- 
nized by the United States Government. Bloemfontien is 
about 100 miles from Pniel. There are about a dozen other 
towns within that distance of the mines situated in the Free 
State, Transvaal Republic, and "The colony." According to 
the Roman Dutch law, under which the constitution was 
formed, the State has no right over the minerals, excepting 


in Government lands; and when any of this land is sold, the 
purchaser has the right to the minerals. They may, however, 
alter this law, as far as the Government lands are concerned, 
and charge a royalty or tax of say 10s. a month to each 
miner who desires to work on Government lands. The dia- 
mondiferous land of the Free State which has as yet been dis- 
covered, is mostly owned by citizens who generally allow dig- 
gers to work on their land, and charge them about 10s. per 
month. These farms are generally from 6,000 to 18,000 acres 
in size, and can be purchased for from £5,000 to £10,000. 
Before diamonds were discovered upon them they could have 
been purchased for less than £2,000 each. The west bank of 
the Vaal River from the mouth of the Hart River is claimed 
by the Chief Jautjie, the Chief Waterboer, and the Transvaal 
Republic, another Dutch settlement of a later date than the 
Orange Free State. The capital of this republic is Pretoria, 
and the largest place is Potchefstrom, about 200 miles from 
and north of Pniel, a town of about 1,000 white inhabitants. 
The State is governed by a President and Legislature elected 
by the people ; it has also been recognized by the United 
States Government. They are trying to get a sea-port at 
Ingack Island, Delagoa Bay, and will probably succeed. 
Now all their importations have to come through " The 
Colony," and pay colonial duty. Both the Free State and 
Transvaal Republic are anxious for American emigration, and 
large farms are offered to emigrants at a very low figure, and 
on time to emigrants who have means to stock them. The 
whole country consists of a vast undulating table-land, where 
anything can be raised if dams are built to supply water. 
The chief production of the country is wool. There are im- 
mense herds of sheep grazing from one end of the country to 
the other. Coffee, sugar, wheat, corn, and all kinds of fruit 
and vegetables, are raised to a certain extent; but as there 
are no rivers or railroads leading to the sea, it does not 
pay to raise these articles for export. In time, when the 
people or foreign capitalists can build a railroad, immense 
exports of the above productions will be made from these 
two republics. 

From the mouth of the Hart River, on the west bank of the 


Vaal, to the Orange River, and down to its mouth, the country 
is claimed by the Orange Free State and Jautjie. So far no 
license has been paid by the miners, and they have come to 
the conclusion that they never will pay any, unless forced to 
do so by the British Government, which has just stepped in 
and taken possession of the whole of the diamond district on 
both sides of the Vaal, and sent a magistrate there to look 
after things and stop the quarreling— a kind of way the 
British lion has of settling things. It may be best, after all, 
for the west bank diamond fields, as they were just on the 
point of declaring a republic of their own, which would 
have caused a bloody war, perhaps, of long duration, which 
would have effectually stopped diamond mining for the time 
being. A council was held a few months ago on the Klip 
Drift or west side, at which they decided that the Transvaal 
Republic owned that side of the river from the mouth of the 
Hart River. At this council there were present President 
Pretorius, of the Transvaal ; President Brand, of the Free 
State; President Parker, who had been elected by* the 
miners as President of the diamond district of the west 
side ; Jautjie and Waterboer, two native chiefs who lived 
upon the land. At the decision of the council, the Transvaal 
Republic appointed a Mr. Owen as magistrate, and sent him 
to the great camp, Klip Drift, where he issued a proclama- 
tion and raised the Transvaal Hag. The miners, not liking 
this arrangement, tore down the Hag, and putting Mr. Owen 
into a boat, sent him across the river, and his tent after 
him, and refused to allow him to return. They also refused 
to recognize the Transvaal government authority over the 
diamond district, and they deposed Mr. Parker, and elected a 
Mr. Barker in his stead ; they also elected twelve members 
for a council. Since then there has been constant quarreling 
goino- on until Mr. Campbell's arrival, when he stopped all 
further disputes by taking possession of and proclaiming 
the territory as British. I think the British Government will 
impose a slight tax only on miners, and at the same time 
allow them to work wherever they like, excepting on settled 



Dueing the year 1867, a trader was traveling in the Free 
State, and, stopping at a farm near the Vaal River, he ob- 
served a small boy playing with a peculiar-looking crystal. 
He carefully examined it, and remarked to the parents that 
he thought it was a diamond, and asked them what they 
would take for it. They laughed at the idea of its being a 
diamond, and told him he could have it for nothing. In 
passing through several towns on his way to the coast, he 
frequently showed it, and was laughed at when he mentioned 
that he thought it was a diamond. He became so disgusted 
that he was on the point of throwing it away, when he hap- 
pened to show it to Dr. Atherstone, a scientific gentleman of 
Grahamstown, in the colony. Dr. A. was struck with its 
appearance, and immediately took its specific gravity, and, 
testing it in other ways, proved beyond doubt that it 
was a veritable diamond of 20 carats in weight. It was 
sent to Capetown, and there purchased by the Governor 
Sir Philip Wodehouse, for £500. This affair created some 
excitement in the colony, but it soon died out. 

About a year after this, a trader named Shalk Van 
^iekerk purchased the "Star of South Africa," a beautiful 
diamond of 83 carats, from a native doctor, in whose 
possession it had been for several years, and who had 
used it as a charm to cure diseases with among the na- 
tives. He said that he had found it on the north bank of the 
Orange River, about one hundred miles below the mouth of 
the Vaal. Van Niekerk gave him five hundred sheep for it, 
and taking it to Hopetown, sold it for £11,500 to the firm 
of Lilienfeld Brothers, who sent it to Europe, where it re- 
mained in the market in its rough state for some time, and no 
offer being made for it, the owners had it cut in Amsterdam, 
at their own risk. It turned out to be a beautiful first-water 
brilliant of 40 carats, and was purchased by the celebrated 
London firm of Hunt & Boskel. It is not generally known 
what price was paid for it ; it is rumored from £6,500 to 


£16,000. It is understood that II. & B. ask £25,000 for it 
now. The finding of the "Star of South Africa" caused 
great excitement in the colony, and a rush of traders took 
place immediately, who managed to purchase from the natives 
quite a lot of diamonds, among them the following : one of 
47 carats was sent home by Messrs. Breda, Halket &> Co., 
Capetown ; a diamond of 30-J carats was found at Bloemhof, 
on the banks of the Vaal River ; numerous other diamonds, 
of 5, 7, 12, 10, 20, 25, 30 and 40 carats were found during the 
next two years by natives, and all on the surface. 


No. 1.— Found at the firm " De Kalk " division of Ilopetown, by a 
child of Daniel Jacobs. Weight, 21 3-16th carats. Sold to the Govern- 
ment. The child had been in possession of the gem for some time, and 
she and some native children used it, with some other pretty stones, as 
a plaything. Mr. Schalk Niekerk, when on a visit one day to this 
placed was struck with the appearance of the stone. He got possession 
of it. It was afterward sent to Dr. Atherstone, in Grahamstown. 
The Doctor pronounced it to be a diamond of the first water. People, 
both natives and Europeans, then commenced to search. 

No. 2.— Was found soon afterward by Mr. Duvenhage on his father's 
farm, " Paarde Kloof," along the Orange River, in the division of Hope- 
town. Weight, 8 13-lGth carats. A beautiful stone, very regular in 
shape. Purchased by the Governor. 

No. 3.— Found by a native along the Vaal River. Weight, 4 7-lGth 
carats. Very eccentric shape, but very clear. Purchased by Mr. John 
Cruikshanks, who sent it to his father in Scotland. 

No. 4.— Found by Mr. Hans Bezuidenhout, on Mr. Cloete's farm, 
"Mark's Drift," along the Orange River, division of Ilopetown. 
Weight, H carats, greenish color, defective in shape, and evidenUy 
broken. Presented to Mr. Chalmers by Mr. Bezuidenhout, 

No. 5.— Found by Mr. Jacob Cloele, on a piece of Government 
ground along the Orange River, division of Ilopetown. Weight, 3 
4-16th carats, regular in shape and very brilliant. Has a very small 
black spot. Purchased by Mr. Lilienfeld, and sent by him to his 
friends in England. 

No. 0.— Found by a Hottentot servant of Mr. Jan Duvenhage, on his 
master's farm, "Paarde Kloof" (same farm where No. 2 was found). 
Weight, 3 5-lGth carats. Very regular in shape, and of first water. 
Purchased by the Governor. 

No. 7.— Found by a Griqua near the Vaal River. Weight, 15£ carats. 
Purchased from the Griqua by Mr. Radloff, and sold by Mr. Radloff to 
the Governor. 

No. 8.— Found by a Griqua along the Vaal River, near Campbell, in 


July, 1868. Weight, 12 1 carats. Defective in shape, one end very 
much' discolored and rather flat, the other end brilliant and like the 
point oi a conical bullet. Purchased from the Griqua by Mr. Chap- 
man, who has sent it home. This is the diamond found when Mr. 
Gregory was here. 

No. 9. — Found by a Griqua in Waterboer's country, in August, 1808. 
Weight, 2 carats. First water. Regular shape. Purchased by Mr. 

No. 10.— Found by a Griqua near the junction of the Yaal and Riet 
Rivers, in September, 1868. Weight, 13 carats. Triangular shape. 
Color like polished steel. Purchased from the Griqua by Messrs. 
Wykeham & Co., and afterward sold by them to Mr. Maurice Joseph, 
of Capetown. 

No. 11.— Found by a Bechuana beyond the Vaal River, in October, 
1808. Weight, 9 carats. A very brilliant diamond, particularly well 
shaped. Purchased by the Governor. 

No. 12.— Found by a native along the Yaal River, in October, 1808. 
Weight, carats. Straw-colored. Defective in shape. 

No. 13.— Found by a Bechuana along the Riet River, in October, 
1808. Weight, 3 carats. Milky color. Has a small hole on one of 
the facets. 

No. 14.— Brought in by a trader, who received it from a native 
beyond the Orange River, in October, 1808. Weight, 4 carats. Yery 
regular in shape, and particularly sharp-pointed ; very brilliant ; has 
a small yellow spot on one of the facets, which gives the gem rather 
a yellow 7 color. 

No. 15. — Brought in by the same trader, in October, 1808. Weight, 
H carats. (Nos. 14 and 15 were forwarded to Port Elizabeth, to be 
disposed of there.) 

No. 16.— Found along the Vaal River, in November, 1808, by a 
native. Weight, about 2 carats. Defective in shape, and rather dis- 
colored. Purchased by Mr. Ilond. 

No. 17.— Found by a Bechuana beyond the Yaal River, in Novem- 
ber, 1808. Weight, 4 carats. Yery perfect in shape and very brilliant. 
This gem is still in the hands oi" the Hon. R. Southey, Colonial Sec- 
retary, and is still for disposal. 

No. 18.— Found by Mr. David Bebell in the same locality where No. 
11 was found. Weight, 9 carats. Yery pure and very regular in 
shape, but it has a very large hole in it. Purchased by Mr. L. Lilien- 
feld. Found in December, 1808. 

No. 19.— Found on the farm " Roode Kop," along the Orange River, 
in the division of llopetown, in December, 1808. Weight, 1| carats! 
Yery inferior; discolored. Is now in possession of Mr. Lilienfeld. 

No. 20.— Found by a Griqua along the Yaal River, and sold by him 
to Mr. Bebell, who sold it to Mr. Lilienfeld. Weight, 14 carats. Has 
several black spots, otherwise it would be a very brilliant stone. 


^-ggi -_ 


Nos. 11 and 17 are the best diamonds that have yet been found; 
the most brilliant and regular in shape. 

Other diamonds have been found besides these twenty, but I have 
only kept particulars of those which have passed through my hands. 
The foregoing information, therefore, can be depended upon. 

W. 13. Chalmers, C. C. and 11. M. 

Hopbtown, 20M January, 1801). 

These natives would form themselves into long lines, joined 
hand in hand, and walk slowly over the ground and look for 
diamonds, especially after rain ; and if they found one they 
would take it to a trader, and otter it to him at a most ex- 
orbitant price. If the trader were to make an offer he would 
never get the diamond, but by leaving the native to make 
the offer, he would gradually fall about 1,000 per cent, from 
his former demand. I have known a native ask £2,500 for a 
diamond that was finally purchased from him for £150, and 
that was paid in goods, and took three days to elose the 
bargain. The natives will generally take blankets, beads, 
oxen, wagons, and sheep for their diamonds. They have 
been aware of the weight and water of diamonds, but not of 
their value. A company was formed in the colony who sent 
an agent up to the chief of the supposed diamond district, 
and obtained a concession of all the diamond fields on the 
west bank of the Vaal. They made no effort to find the 
deposits themselves, but put the whole district up for sale in 
Europe. This the company did not succeed in doing, and 
after the rush, finding that they could not hold the ground, 
they gave up the seheme as a bad job. The " Star of South 
Africa" was supposed to have been found on their posses- 
sions, and they tried through the colonial court to get pos- 
V* session of it, but failed in doing so, and had to pay costs 

It was not until 1870 that any one thought of organizing 
a prospecting company wdio would devote their time and 
energies to the exclusive hunting of the regular diamond de- 
posits, and mining properly for them. King William's 1 own, 
a place of considerable importance in the colony, organized a 
prospecting company and sent it to the Vaal, under the super- 
intendence of Mr. Mcintosh. This company consisted of 



eight partners, four of whom furnished the money to outfit 
the expedition, and the other four were to do the prospecting 
and mining. At the same time, another similarly organized 
company started from Natal, under Captain Rolliston. 
These two parties met at Hebron, and were a little jealous of 
each other at first, but becoming better acquainted, this soor 
disappeared, and they commenced to prospect together 01 
the west bank of the Vaal. Now, the natives were rathe 
chary of letting white men prospect on their grounds. The 
seemed aware that, in case of the regular diamond deposit 
being discovered, a great rush would be made and their 
lands taken from them. So they would not allow these 
parties to touch the ground with pick or shovel. After pros- 
pecting, with sharp sticks only, for three months up and 
down the Yaal, at places where the natives had found 
diamonds on the surface, the two companies parted, Hous- 
ton's remaining at Hebron, and Mcintosh's following the west 
bank of the Yaal toward its mouth. They parted with the 
understanding that in case one party should discover a de- 
posit, they should let the other know immediately, but se- 
cretly. It was a month after this that the Mcintosh party 
were at Klip Drift, tired and disheartened, and thinking of 
giving it up, when a native was induced to inform them 
where he had found a diamond that he had in his possession. 
He took them half a mile from the drift or ford, to what is 
now known as the " Old Kopie," and pointed out the spot 
to them. They were not allowed to put a pick in the earth ; 
but Mcintosh, in turning over the soil at the roots of a thorn 
tree, discovered a half carat diamond. The party then de- 
termined to send for the Natal party, and to go to work on 
the kopie with pick and shovel, in spite of the natives. The 
kopie was about one thousand yards from the river bank ; 
and upon the arrival of the Natal party they dug out a 
load, carted it down to the river, and washed it out with an 
Australian cradle, finding several diamonds therein. They 
must have lost a great many from the rudeness of their ma- 
chinery. They worked on every day after this, in spite of 
the continued protests of the natives, and with uniform suc- 
cess. The diamondiferous soil lay in a triangular-shaped 


space about sixty yards in circumference, two sides bounded 
by a reef of amgdoline or pudding-stone, and the other by 
the plain. The rich soil was from six inches to three feet in 
depth. The latter were small basins or pockets. The Mc- 
intosh party worked up the left angle or reef, and the Natal 
party the right angle or reef. While piling up their " cas- 
calho " one day, preparatory to hauling it to the river, a nine 
carat diamond made its appearance, which a native who was 
standing by immediately seized, and was making off with it 
when he was caught and compelled to give it up. He made 
a great disturbance about this, and complained to the chief, 
who, however, sustained the white men after hearing their 

Now r , these two parties had been working a month without 
letting any one know of their success, always asserting that 
they found no diamonds ; but their constant labor had created 
suspicion, and several parties, mostly traders, hung around 
their camp watching them. One day, while Captain Rolliston 
was clumping a load of " cascalho " at the washing place, a 
five carat diamond rolled in sight of one of these outsiders, 
who immediately seized it and claimed it, in spite of Captain 
Rolliston having dug and hauled it to the river. lie seized 
it on the grounds that as Captain Rolliston had said that 
they had found no diamonds, and he had found this one, he 
was consequently entitled to it ; and Captain Rolliston had to 
prepare for a tight before he would give it up. This dis- 
covery caused great excitement, and all the traders immedi- 
ately took up claims on the Old Kopie. In one month the 
Mcintosh party took out 120 diamonds, valued at £6,000, 
the largest a beautiful thirty carat, another nine carat, and 
the balance from six carats down to a quarter of a carat. 
The Natal party took out 52 diamonds, valued at £40,000. 
They were mostly large-sized diamonds, among them a forty 
carat, valued at £9,000. Another party took out 50 dia- 
monds, but I do not know the value of them. Other parties 
also did very well. There were 300 diamonds taken from 
this small triangle in less than two months, that were valued 
at over £80,000. 




About this time a trader, named Stafford Parker, became 
aware of these finds, and immediately wrote letters to that 
effect to different papers in the colony, but they were not be- 
lieved. At last a young man, named Slater, wrote a letter to 
his father at Port Elizabeth, confirming Parker's statements, 
and urging his friends to come to the fields immediately. The 
consequence was, that a rush was made from all parts of the 
" Colony," " Free State," and " Transvaal Republic." Every 
paper from every town and village was teeming with the 
names of people Avho had gone and were going to the diamond 
fields, in all conceivable kinds of convevances. Some went 
with Scotch carts drawn by four oxen, and laden with cradles, 
provisions, and mining tools, and the owners walking (in some 
cases) 500 miles. Some started without any outfit or con- 
veyance whatever, and tramped over 600 miles, sleeping in 
the Veldt, with the broad canopy of heaven for their shelter, 
begging their food from the wayside farms, and in one 
case arriving at the diamond fields, and making a for- 
tune in a week. A Dutch boer (farmer) would leave his 
farm in the care of the servants, inspanned sixteen oxen to 
his ponderous African wagon, put his vrow, kinders, a few 
household gods and provisions into it, not forgetting an im- 
mense supply of coffee (without which no South African boer 
ever travels), and treked to the diamond fields, imagining that 
he and his family would spend a few weeks pic-nicking, and 
employ their leisure hours picking up diamonds by the bands- 
ful, and return home and lay in a fresh supply of coffee. In 
some instances, they were rewarded with a fortune ; in a great 
many other instances, finding that diamond mining meant 
hard labor from early morn " till dewy eve ;" and no Dutch- 
man likes hard labor. They meandered round for a few days, 
looking at the hard workers with amazement, became disgust- 
ed with Englishmen who would work, resolved not to disgrace 
themselves by doing likewise for any amount of money^ and 
returned home, vrow, kinders, household gods and all, and re- 
sumed their pipes and coffee, wiser, but I cannot say better 



men. Now, I don't mean to say all Dutchmen are like that, 
but the majority are. I have known some who have brought 
their families to the mines, and a few servants, and have 
worked as hard as any Englishman ; one family, in particu- 
lar, Waldecks, from the "Free State," that made a fortune 
at Pniel. lie and his servants would do the differing and 
washing, and his wife and children would sort out the washed 
gravel, and pick out the diamonds. 

All kinds of people went to the mines; among them British 
officers, stationed in the colony, who had never handled any- 
thing heavier than a sword on parade day, obtained leave of 
absence for a few months, went to the mines, and worked like 
navvies, and, in several eases, made fortunes. Merchants, 
clerks, mechanics, laborers, and chronic loafers even, could 
not resist the fascination of diamond digging. Some, though, 
worked for months, and never found a single diamond, having 
a twenty foot claim surrounded by four other twenty foot 
claims, every one of which was rich in the gems but his own. 
On my way to the diamond fields, I have met Dutchmen re- 
turning from there, who swore that it was all a humbug, and 
that there were no diamonds to be found, when an hour be- 
fore, I had met a fortunate individual who had shown me a 
dozen diamonds that he had dugout himself, and who, in the 
first flush of fortune, was rushing home to spend it, and return 
again to the fields, where, perhaps, he would be doomed to 

Most of the diggers went direct to Klip Drift and the Old 
Kopie, taking up claims adjacent to the celebrated triangle. 
Thiskopie was soon all taken, aid then further arrivals tried 
the next kopie down the river, called the Second, or Town 
Kopie. r l nis was soon taken up in claims, and then the next 
arrivals moved farther down the river to the Third, or Coles- 
burg Kopie, called so on account of a Colesburg party dis- 
covering diamonds upon it. These three kopies, or hills, are 
about two miles long from the Drift where the wagons ford 
the river to the bottom of the Colesburg Kopie. No dia- 
monds were found immediately below this last kopie. The 
river front of these kopies is deep and still water, having rap- 
ids above and below. The river was crossed by yawl boats 



opposite the great camp, half a dozen of which were running, 
and charging Qcl a passenger. These two miles of kopies 
were called Klip Drift, or Koeky Ford, from the name of the 
ford that the miners crossed the Vaal by. The chief camp 
was pitched on the Second, or Middle Kopie, between the 
river and the mines, the latter generally being about 500 yards 
from the river, and on the top of the kopies that had an ave- 
rage elevation of 100 feet above the river. The tops of these 
kopies were flat, and covered with a deposit of water-worn 
gravel or pebbles— often by large bowlders and rough rocks, 
that had to be removed with a crowbar. No houses were 
built at this time, the miners living in tents and wagons only. 

A kind of provisional government was now instituted for 
the purpose of keeping order in the camp. The miners held 
a meeting, and elected four members of council and a presi- 
dent. Stafford Parker was elected president ; rules and reg- 
ulations were drawn up, and all newcomers were compelled 
to sio-n them, as well as those who had been there from the 
first. There were two sets : one for mining, and the other for 
defense. These rules are given in another page. 

Immediately opposite the Town Kopie, on the Free State 
side, and on the Fniel mission estate, a Dutchman, who had 
encamped temporarily, found a half carat diamond on the sur- 
face, close to his wa^on. This side of the Vaal, for fifteen 
miles up and down the river, is owned by the Berlin mission- 
ary station, called Pniel, some three miles up the river, under 
the charge of the Rev. Mr. Kallenburg. The Dutchman re- 
ported this find to Mr. Kallenburg, and requested permission 
to mine there. This was granted, with the proviso that a 
quarter of the value of all finds should be handed over to Mr. 
K. After a while, other Dutchmen, getting wind of this, ob- 
tained permission also. The missionary would only let those 
with whom he was acquainted, or who were well vouched for, 
mine on the estate ; but in less than a month, he had 300 fam- 
ilies, mostly Dutch, working opposite the great camp. He 
derived a revenue of at least £1,000 per month. 

A great many new arrivals, and parties from the Klip Drift 
side, applied for permission to mine on the estate, and were 


refused ; but the missionary, finding that parties w 

ere coming 




over m the night— cradles, tools, and all— and taking up 
claims, working anyhow, and not paying one-quarter of the 
finds either, called a council of Berlin missionaries, who con- 
cluded to let any one who could get a voucher from Stafford 
Parker, President of the Vigilance Committee of Klip Drift, 
mine on the estate. The consequence was, a rush from the 
Klip Drift side of at least 500 men, who soon took up every 
available claim. The missionaries appointed a committee to 
look after their interests. They drafted the following rules : 

" That all applicants should sign before being allowed to mine on 
the estate. 

" A claim should consist of thirty feet square (to be given out by one 
of the committee) for each cradle. 

" Whenever a diamond is found by a miner, it must be reported at the 
committee tent within twenty-four hours. These to be weighed. 

" If the miner sells the diamond, he must pay the missionaries' agent 
one-quarter of the proceeds. If he does not sell it, the committee will 
appraise it, and the miner pay as above." 

The above are the most important resolutions. There were 
several others of minor importance. It was soon found out that 
not one-half of the miners reported their finds, and that there 
was a great anxiety for a reduction of the tax ; so at another 
meeting it was resolved to impose a tax of 10s. a month on 
every washing machine, and take off the one quarter tax on 
the finds. This gave better satisfaction to the miners, and a 
sure income to the society. At present there must be over 
1,000 cradles at work on the Pnicl estate, yielding the mis- 
sionary society a revenue of £2,500 a month. As in other 
mineral countries, new places, a few miles off, were discover, 
ed, and rushes from both camps made to them. These places 
generally proved to be of small extent, and those parties 
which first arrived took up all the good claims, while hum 
dreds returned to their old camp disappointed, and probably 
finding the claim they had deserted had been taken by a new- 
comer. Still a great many remained at such places as Gono- 
Gong, Good Hope, Bad Hope, Lucas Kopie, ^Vebster , s Ko- 
pie, and Sifonel, which places extended some twenty miles 
down the river and up the river, as far as Hebron. New places 
are still being constantly found, and the " case^lho " deposits 
extend on a very large extent of country. 








■ ■ 



I will now give a synopsis of my own diary to show a 
miner's every-day life, traveling and mining. 

Business had called me to Colesburg, a frontier town of the 
colony ; and, as I had a few months to spare, I concluded to 
devote it to diamond mining, and give it a practical trial, as 
I had been in California, and had done all kinds of gold min- 
ing and working. I invented a machine for diamond washing, 
somewhat similar to a longtom and cradle combined, which, 
after a trial at the mines, and a few alterations, proved to be 
quite a success. I had this machine made at Colesburg, put 
together with screws, and taken apart for easy transport. 
There is an engraving of it on page 26. 

Colesburg, June 29th, 1870.— Everything ready to start 
for the diamond fields, 170 miles in aN. W. direction. There 
are three partners in the concern : Messrs. llawstorne, Plew- 
man, and myself. Messrs. R. and P. are merchants at Coles- 
burg. We take two colored boys with us. We have sent on a 
Scotch cart, drawn by four oxen, in charge of two other boys. 
This cart contains our washing machine, pump, hose, and min- 
ing tools. We expect to come up with them about half way 

to the fields. 

Rawstorne and I travel in a six-mule spring wagon, which 
will also contain our provisions, carpenter's tools, bedding and 
clothing ; we have very few of the latter, but they are sub- 
stantial! ' We believe in traveling light, and leaving our 
« store " clothes at home. We hired the wagon and mules 
for three months. The balance of our outfit, including the 
Scotch cart and four oxen, cost us £100. Plewman remains 
in Colesburg to settle some business, and then follows in his 

own trap. 

30TH.— Some of the citizens of Colesburg gave us a din- 
ner in honor of our being the Colesburg pioneers to the dia- 
mond fields. James Hennessy's and Mad. Cliquot's names 
were frequently heard at the table, and they were passed 



round till some of the party couldn't rest. We managed to 
escape at 3 p.m., and started off in fine style, with three 
cheers from our late hosts, and accompanied by several car- 
riage loads of ladies and gentlemen for some miles on the 
road. Outspanned (unhitched) for the night at a farm nine 
miles from Colesburg, and slept for the first time in our 

July 1st.— Arose at daylight; had coffee, inspanned, or 
hitched up, and made the Orange River Drift at Rosse's Ferry. 
As the river was too high to cross the drift, we crossed on the 
ferry, and entered the Orange River Free State, a young Re- 
public. Twenty years ago, if a traveler arrived in London, 
who had crossed the Orange River of South Africa, he was 
lionized, and made an honorary member of the Traveler's 
Club. It is becoming common in these days, and the Zam- 
besi, 1,000 miles further north, is now the line of interest. At 
?. p.m., we arrived at Phillapolis, a village of 500 inhabitants, 
most of whom had gone, or were preparing to go to the dia- 
mond fields. We hear very encouraging news here. After 
dinner we treked (moved on), passing through an immense 
swarm of locusts, which come up against your face with a 
thump that startles you. We made twelve miles farther, and 
outspanned for the night. 

2d.— Inspanned at daylight again, and made ten miles ; had 
breakfast, and made Fauresmith, a town of about 1,000 in- 
habitants, at 3 p.m. Outspanned and had dinner just upon 
the outskirts of the town. A large number of the inhabit- 
ants had gone to the diamond fields. All the carpenters' 
shops were busy making cradles for washing the "cascalho." 
Made twelve miles more, and camped at Schietmakaar for 
the night. Since we have crossed the Orange River, the 
appearance of the country has changed; we now see im- 
mense tracts of slightly undulating and gravelly ground be- 
tween ridges of bowlder-crowned kopies or hills. We are now 
5,000 feet above the level of the sea. The climate is delight- 
ful; coiv. enough at night to require blankets, and just warm 
enough during the day to dispense with coats. No rain at 
this season of the year. The farmers build dams at conve- 
nient places on their farms (generally on the side of a rise) 



■ — ....■■III. . 



in which water enough is caught from the winter storms to 
last through the dry season. We had to pay Is. at some farms 
to be allowed to water our stock at the dams. 

3d. — Made a farm at 9 a.m., ten miles from where we were 
last night. This farm is situated on the licit River. Saw a 
large number of bucks (springbok), but could not get within 
range, as we had no riding-horse, and the ground was not 
rugged enough to stalk them. At 8 p.m., having followed 
the licit River, we crossed it, and outspanncd ; found our cart 
and its contents, and another ox wagon of diamond seekers. 

4tii. — Arrived at 10 a.m. at Jacobsdahl, the last town on the 
route to the diamond fields, and about forty miles from them. 
This place has about 500 inhabitants. There are several lar^e 
stores here ; one kept by Isaac Sonnenberg, who has lived a 
great deal in America ; he has a fine stock of provisions and 
mining tools. To-day, being the anniversary of American 
Independence, we celebrated it by firing a salute of sixteen 
shots in ten seconds from a " Winchester Repeater," which 
gathered the Dutch around us in swarms. We then spent an 
hour sampling champagne. Inspanned and treked. Before 
leaving, Mr. Sonnenberg showed me four diamonds, one of 
twenty-six carats, and three of one carat each ; he values the 
twenty-six carat one at £2,000. After crossing the Modder 
River, we made I)u Forts Farm, and outspanncd for the night. 
Diamonds have been picked up on the surface at this farm. 
The family will not, however, allow any one to work on it 
yet, chiefly on account of the scarcity of water. 

5th. — Arrived at Pniel Mission Station at 12 noon. Hear- 
ing that the mining on this side of the river is rather better 
than that on the other side, we asked permission of Mr. Kal- 
lcnburgh, the missionary, to mine on the estate. lie declined 
to grant it till after a contemplated meeting of the Berlin 
missionaries in the Free State, which would take place next 
month. We then went to Klip Drift, three miles further down 
the river; outspanncd on an island in the middle of the Drift, 
and while the boys were cooking dinner, took a walk down 
the Pniel side of the river, where we found about fifty men, 
women, and children working — the men digging and washing 
the women and children sorting the washed pebbles. The 



scene was intensely exciting, and we wanted to pitch in im- 
mediately, and take a claim. We were shown diamonds right 
and left, and observed with what ease a diamond could be 
distinguished from the pebbles from which it is taken. The 
mining was carried on within fifty yards of the river, on the 
top of a rand or spur of a large kopie. This spur runs down 
the river, and parallel with it. After digging out the soil, it is 
carted down, and dumped on the bank, washed in a cradle, 
and emptied on a table; where the sorters sit all day picking 
out the precious gems. The sensation of picking out a dia- 
/ mond must be exquisite to the finder, if it has such an effect 

as it had on me when, looking on, I saw one found. The 
scene is very picturesque and refreshing to us who have not 
seen a tree or (excepting the Orange and Modder) a river 
with water in it since we left Colesburg. The great camp of 
Klip Drift is just opposite, and the hills are covered with 
miners, and the banks of the river with washers. The scene 
is so intensely exciting to us, we want to begin at once, and 
feel as if we can hirdly wait till morning. I wonder what 
my dreams w r ill be about to-night ; nothing but diamonds, 
diamonds, diamonds, I expect, and some very extensive ones, 
too, no doubt. Met Mr. Green, late civil commissioner of 
Colesburg, who has obtained permission from Mr. Kallenburg 
to mine on the estate. He has two very large claims, and he 
showed us five diamonds that he had already taken out, rang- 
ing from \ to 5| carats. The soil is of a reddish color, and 
the miners only go down about six inches or a foot. (Since 
the above date they have gone down over twenty feet, finding 
diamonds all the way). The miners are chiefly Dutch ; very 
few Englishmen. On this side they are encamped under the 
trees between their mine and washing place. While we were 
looking on, a Dutchman found a 15^ carat diamond, worth 
£1,000, while digging, and without washing; he yelled out 
and howled around there like a crazy man, and everybody 
left their work, and made a rush to see it. He won't sleep any 
to-night. I expect he'll invest in a bag of coffee to-morrow. 
Returning to our wagon, we had an excited dinner, with our 
eyes opened as big as saucers, looking between every bite for 
diamonds in the river sand. I see that I am bound to get 


round-shouldered if I remain at the mines long. Every fel- 
low you meet is looking down, as if he had stolen something 
from you. He is only looking for diamonds. He wears out 
the toes of his boots in an incredibly short space of time, 
kicking over all the stones he comes across as he goes from 
his mine to his washing or meals. When we arrived at 
headquarters at Klip Drift (the water at the ford was up to 
our wagon bed, and quite swift), we met Header's party from 
Philipstown, near Colesburg. (They are friends of Raw- 
storne's). They had found an eighteen carat diamond the 
day before, and Morritz linger, the diamond merchant, who 
has just arrived from Europe, offered them £550 for it, but 
they refused, and one of the party took it to Bloemfontien, 
where he expects to get £600 foi* it. I saw Mr. Unger pur- 
chase two diamonds to-day ; one was 6 T \ , and the other 5 T 5 g- 
carats ; he paid £105 for them. 


July 6th. — Went to the top of the Colesburg or third 
kopie, and took a claim of twenty feet square, being for- 
tunate in finding one just in the middle of the crowd, which 
seemed to have been overlooked, and around all sides of 
which diamonds had been found. We then took two more 
claims upon the outskirts of the hill, and put up beacons on 
them. There are about fifty claims taken up on this kopie. 
We went to the river and found a place for our cradle about 
500 yards below our mines. We then inspanned and treked 
to the washing place, where we pitched our tent. After 
luncheon we went to work with axe, pick and shovel, and 
cleared and cut a place for our cradle and " cascalho." The 
underbrush was very thick. We set our sorting-table under 
the shade of a large willow tree. At ni<>;ht our hands were 
full of blisters and thorns. Went up to headquarters, where 
we signed the rules, mining and defensive, paying 2s. 6 d. for 
each privilege. This tax is imposed for the purpose of 
keeping the drift in good order, and paying the expenses of 


the committee. The miners are a peaceable body of men, a . 
little gambling and drinking going on, and once in a while a ^ 
fist fight ; but no shooting or cutting has occurred as yet. 
Called upon Mr. linger, the diamond merchant, who came 
out from England at the same time that I did. He showed 
me more than one hundred diamonds that he had purchased. 
He had just sealed up a larger quantity that he was sending 
to Port Elizabeth and Europe. He will leave soon for Coles- 
burg to get more money, having spent £10,000 in diamonds 
in less than a month. He tells me that this is the richest 
diamond country in the world, and that he has seen some 
immense ones since his arrival. He says that about twenty- 
five diamonds a day are being found on each side of the 
river. The majority of diamonds on this side are large, from 
Hve to forty carats ; but on the other side they are smaller, 
but more plentiful on each claim. There are some parties on 
this side who have been working for weeks and have not 
found a single diamond ; but they are sticking to it, and will, 
no doubt, eventually be rewarded. 

7th. — At sunrise we had coffee, and went up to the claims 
and marked off the boundary with large stones, increasing 
the blisters on our hands. Breakfast at 9 a.m. As we were 
expecting our cart, we went up to meet it. Stopped at At- 
well's store, a large tent containing an extensive stock of 
goods; purchased six feet of one-inch lumber, at Is. per foot; 
also some butter at 2 s. 6d. per lb. Met Mr. King, a member 
of the Colonial Parliament, who had just arrived. He had 
picked up a sack of potatoes that we had dropped on the 
road some miles back ; he divided it with us. Returned to 
camp without seeing the cart. Invented and made a dry 
sifter to use at the mine. This sieve has been extensively 
copied at the mines, and hundreds are to be seen there ; it 
lias been christened by the miners the "Yankee Baby." 
Meader picked up two more diamonds to-day out of his 
claim, worth about £10. A Dutchman picked up a seven 
and a half carat diamond from his claim next to ours ; it is 
worth £120. Met Messrs. Dees and Lamb, of Natal. Lamb 
is a member of Kolliston's party, who made such a rich haul 
from the old kopie. 


8th. — At daylight wont to the claim and dug a hole two 
feet deep and three by six feet in width and breadth. Struck 
the bed rock. Weather so cold that we had to work with 
our gloves and pea-jackets on until we got warmed up. The 
soil is reddish, and full of round water worn pebbles of all 
colors, some very pretty, such as I have seen in cheap jewelry 
at home. We dug out and sifted several loads of " eascalho." 
Saw our cart coming over the hill and conducted it to camp. 
After breakfast we unloaded it, and fixed up our " Tom" and 
pump for washing next day. Went up to headquarters. 
Meader had picked up a four carat diamond to-day ; it was 
only worth about £40, on account of there being two black 
sj^ots in it. His claim is on the second kopie. A two carat 
diamond was found next to our claim to-day. 

9th. — At daylight we took two of our boys and dug out 
five loads of "eascalho," and then went to another of our 
claims and dug out two cart loads to secure it. The mining 
law requires that a claim must be worked at least every three 
days. Each partner is entitled to a twenty-foot claim, and 
we have taken three at different localities. We then hauled 
two cart-loads of sifted " eascalho " to our washing place, and 
commenced our first washing. Found that our pump would 
not throw enough water, and consequently the " Tom " prin- 
ciple was a failure. So we altered it into a cradle by cutting 
off the lower part and putting rockers on it. We put the 
dirt in at the top of the twelve-foot sluice, and let the wa- 
ter wash it down into the rocker. By this time it is quite 
loosened, and passes through the different sieves quickly with 
the assistance of a little rocking. We had to take out the 
perforated zinc and replace it with wire, as there were not 
sufficient holes in the zinc, consequently it soon choked up. 
The upper sieve has half-inch holes, sheet iron ; the middle 
sieve is one eighth of an inch, wire mesh ; the bottom is one 
sixteenth, wire mesh. No stone of any value will pass 
through this. Several more diamonds found near our claim 

10th, Sunday. — All mining ceased to-day. All the stores 
and saloons are closed, and Divine service is being held in the 
committee tent. The Rev. Mr. Wills, of the Church of Eng- 



land (from Potchefstrom, Transvaal Republic), officiating. It 
was well attended. After the service, the mail arrived from 
Jacobsdahl and the Colony. It was brought from Jacobs- 
dahl by private hands, and a sixpence extra was charged on 
each letter, and two pence on each newspaper. The mail 
left at 2 p.m. for Jacobsdahl, so as to arrive in time to catch 
the colonial post. I met Mr. Mcintosh, of the King Wil- 
liam's Town party. He showed me a box of ninety odd dia- 
monds, ranging from half a carat to thirty carats in size. 
The thirty carat one is first water, and nearly round. A 
nine carat diamond in the lot is a perfect octohedron, and of 
the first water. He says that the thirty carat is worth 
£3,500, and the nine carat one about £300. The whole lot 
is valued at £6,000. Spent the afternoon in wandering 
around the kopies and river bank, examining the mines and 
washing machines. Of the latter there are a great variety, 
some being made of old gin cases set on rockers. Had a 
square meal to-day. 

11th. — Hauled down six cart loads of dirt to-oTay, and 
washed out part of it. Nary diamond. A few were taken 
out of our kopie to-day by our neighbor. Twenty-five dia- 
monds were taken out of the claims on the Pniel side to-day, 
just opposite to us. 

12th. — Mr. Plewman having arrived, lie and I went on a 
prospecting trip for a new claim, leaving Rawstorne and the 
boys to try their luck at the old claims. We went to the 
rear of the old kopie, to a native kraal, or village, and Mr. 
Plewman persuaded one of the natives to show us some spot 
where diamonds had been found on the surface by his tribe. 
He volunteered to do so if we would give him 1,9., which we 
did, and he took us about half a mile further inland, and 
showing us a gravelly spot, said that a great many diamonds 
had been picked up there ; so we beaconed off a claim and 
returned to camp, where we found that Rawstorne had 
washed out four loads without success. JVb diamonds. A 
twenty-six carat diamond was found on the second kopie 
to-day. Quite a large addition to the population during the 
last week. 

13th. — Rawstorne and two of the boys went over to our 


new claim ; it is two miles ofl^ Dug out and hauled down 
two loads to the river ; washed it out, but found no dia- 
monds. We then washed out two loads from our first claim, 
and found one diamond worth £8. We then all took a 
drink and had a square meal served up. A thirteen carat 
diamond was found on our kopie to-day, and a sixteen carat 
one on the second kopie, besides several small ones, 
Twenty-five diamonds found on the Pniel side to-day. Dr. 
Shaw, a guest of ours, and a geologist, from Colesburg, who 
is here taking notes, informed me that the Dutch are sell in £ 
their diamonds very cheap on the Pniel side ; so I gave him 
£20 to invest in small diamonds for me. 

14th. — Met Mr. Marshal, of Natal gold notoriety. lie 
lias just arrived with a large party who left Natal a month 
airo. They came in ox wagons 450 miles. While washing 
to-day, Mr. Hamilton, a photographer from Craddock, in the 
Colony, came down with his apparatus and took a picture of 
our party, machines, niggers, and all. We ordered a lot of 
them, lie has just taken a panoramic view of both sides of 
the river. A Mr. Proctor found a twenty-nine carat diamond 



to-day on the second kopie ; it is worth £2,000. They are 
still finding a number of small ones on the Pniel side. 

15th. — Washing and mining all day. JYo diamonds. A 
Dutchman named Waldeck took out a seventeen carat dia- 
mond to-day from his claim on the Pniel side. It is of a yel- 
lowish color. He asks £800 for it. Mr. Proctor took out 
another diamond to-day from the second kopie ; it weighs five 
carats. Dr. Shaw purchased a beautiful half-carat diamond 
for me to-day for £3. linger says he will try and get me a 
claim from the missionary (on the Pniel side), who is a 
countryman of his. 



July 16th. — Great excitement at headquarters to-day. Two 
young men who have lately arrived from London, named 
Webb and Pasno, the latter the son of a London diamond 
merchant, have just arrived from the Transvaal Republic, 
where they had obtained a concession of the diamond fields 
for thirty years from the President of that Republic, who 
claims this part of the country as belonging to the Transvaal. 
These young men have come down to inform the miners that 
they will be charged a tax of 10s. a month for the privilege of 
mining. The consequence is, that a meeting has been called 
b}^the President of the Council, Stafford Parker. About 500 
miners responded. The President communicated the above 
intelligence to them, and asked them what they intended to 
do ? They replied that " they were not going to pay one 
penny to any one for the privilege of mining ; that they were 
not going to recognize the authority of the Transvaal Repub- 
lic over the mines ; and that, if Messrs. Pasno and Webb did 
not sign the rules, and recognize the president and council of 
the mines, they would put them through the river." Messrs. 
Pasno and Webb signed the rules. At the close of the meet- 
ing, a deputation of citizens from the Transvaal read a protest, 
signed by a large number of citizens of the Transvaal, against 
their President conceding the ground to any company what- 

17th. — Dr. Shaw purchased six diamonds for me at Pniel. 
One of the Mcintosh party took me to the old kopie, and 
gave me the history of the first diamond discovery, and the 
working of the celebrated triangle (as described in Chapter 


19th. — Mr. Plowman has just returned from Hebron, twenty 
miles up the river. There he met a Mr. Robinson, a trader, 
who showed him ninety diamonds, chiefly large ones (one of 
forty carats), that he had purchased from the natives, who 
had picked them up from the surface in that neighborhood. 
There are about 100 miners working there now. 

■■ ■ -:?■■ • . *- .■: I — - ■■■■■■■ ~tr— 


20tii. — A 69-J- carat diamond was found to-day next to 
Proctor's claim, on the second kopie. It is a miserable 
specimen, fit for nothing but boart. They ask £400 for it ; it 
will not fetch more than £100 in Europe. Since writing the 
above, I learn that this diamond is an old stager that hag 
been to Capetown, and sent back here for a soft purchaser. 
Fifteen diamonds have been picked up near Proctor's claim 
within the last three days. Another seventeen carat diamond 
found on the Pniel side to-day. 

2 1st. — Captain Gordon, late of Her Majesty's Army, found 
three diamonds to-day at his claim at Pniel; one is a beauty 
of two carats. 

22d. — Dug down into the bed of a ravine that takes off the 
debris of the old kopie, just under the rich triangle. The 
bed rock or clay was soon reached, but the farther we went 
into this yellow clay the harder it became, until at three feet 
it was hard as rock. We hauled several loads of it to our 
washing place, and after puddling the clay, succeeded in 
washing it, but found no diamonds. Now, the washing from 
this rich triangle must have passed into this ravine, but still 
no diamonds have ever been found in it. The only way in 
which I can account for it is, that the deposit must have been 
but recently uncovered, and no diamonds have been washed 
from it by nature ; or the rains, being so very heavy, have car- 
ried the diamonds that may have been washed out clear 
through the ravine to the Vaal River, about 1,000 yards dis- 

23d. — A miner found seven diamonds in his claim at Pniel 
to-day. They are digging much deeper there now. Some 
have gone four feet, finding a good wash all the way, while 
on this side the general run is six inches or a foot only. I 
purchased a beautiful octohedron diamond to-day, weighing 
l T 5 g carat, for £8. 

24th. — The President issued an order or command for all 
the miners to arm themselves, and assemble at headquarters 
at noon. About 800 of us met, armed with all kinds of guns. 
We learned that at Hebron a Dutchman had shot a native in 
the leg, who had stolen something from him, and was running 
away. The native chief and some of his men had captured 


the Dutchman, given him an awful beating, and robbed him 
of £75 worth of goods. The President told us we were called 
together to volunteer and arrest the chief and his associates 
in the affair, and also the Dutchman, and fetch them to the 
council for a proper trial ; for it was not policy to allow the 
natives to arrest and punish any white man in the mines. Two 
hundred volunteers were called for who had horses. These 
immediately responded; and under command of Mcintosh, 
started for Jautjie's kraal down the river, where the Dutch- 
man was supposed to have been taken. 

25th. — The volunteers found the Dutchman was at Hebron; 
so they rode over there, and found him in the hands of Jaut- 
jie's son. They arrested the whole batch of them ; and after 
a little resistance, brought them into camp, where they were 
kept under guard in the committee tent. They will be tried 
to-morrow by the committee or council. About 100 men 
were allowed to go over by the missionary society to the Pniel 
side. As we had only found one diamond on this side of the 
river, though constantly working, Ra tvstorne went over and 
secured a claim of twenty feet square, near to where diamonds 
are being found every day. He purchased a small cradle for 
£2 105., and he and two of the bovs went to work, while I 
and the other boys run the machine on this side. We also 
set up a young man named Bowler in a claim on the second 
kopie; we to furnish him with a boy, provisions, and tools 
and wash his " cascalho," and he to give us half of the pro- 
ceeds of his finds. 

26th. — As we have found no diamonds on this side for two 
weeks, we have concluded to move everything to the Pniel 
side, and put the whole of our force to work at that claim, 
and give up those on this side. We have seven boys now 
that we give a shilling a day to, and find in food. One attends 
to the cattle, one cooks, and the other five mine and wash, 
while R. and I sort at the tables. R. and I signed the rules 
at Pniel this morning, among which the most important one 
is, that we must report our finds to the committee within 
twenty-four hours ; they will weigh them, and, after we sell 
them, we must pay them one-fourth of the proceeds. 

27th. — The trial of the prisoners broke up in a row yester- 


day, and the miners elected twelve new committee men, and 
had a fresh trial, which resulted in making Jautjie refund the 
£75 worth of goods, and the Dutchman was fined £25 for 
shooting the Kaffir. Captain Gordon found an imperfect 7} 
carat diamond to-day, worth £50. 

28th. — I purchased a bright yellow diamond to-day, weigh- 
ing 2 T \ carat, for £20. I also purchased some boart, at 30s. 
a carat. I also made arrangements to purchase a farm of 30,- 
000 acres, fronting on the Yaal River, between this and Heb- 
ron, for an American Company. If it is worked on a large 
scale it will pay immense dividends, if anything like the Pniel 
estate in richness. About fifty diamonds a day are now being 
found at the diggings, some large and some small. 

30ph. — An 8f carat diamond found to-day next to our claim. 
"Nary diamond" have we found since the 13th. A gentle- 
man took me on one side to-day, and informed me that, as he 
saw that I was going deep in the mine, and that as he knew I 
should find diamonds at a great depth, he would let me into 
a secret, and that was, that at a depth of ten feet, he had 
found more diamonds than nearer the surface; and, as all the 
miners were under the impression that there were none below a 
depth of four feet, he suggested that we should keep it a se- 
cret until the miners had worked their claims out to this depth 
and left them, and then that we should make a contract for 
the whole kopie, and work it out to the bed rock witli a large 
force of natives. I told him I would think about it, (The 
miners found it out themselves shortly afterward). 

August 1st. — liawstorne found two diamonds to-day out of 
the claim on the Pniel side after washing out four loads. Our 
claim is about fifty yards from the washing place. We moved 
our large cradle over and set it up. It works much better 
now, and with the force we have we can manage to wash and 
sort fifteen loads a day. At daylight we go to the mine, and 
by 9 o'clock we have dug out and sifted fifteen loads of u cas- 
calho," hauling it down to the river in the meanwhile. At 9 
o'clock we breakfast, and then, while the boys wash, we sort. 
At 1 p.m. we have luncheon, and then resume our washing 
and sorting till 6 p.m. ; then we have dinner. On moonlight 
nights some of the miners dig and sift till 10 o'clock. 




August 3.— The President of the Transvaal Republic, Mr. 
Pretorius, and the President of Klip Drift Diamond Fields, 
Mr. Parker, called upon me to-day and examined my machines 
for washing and sifting. The former has taken up a claim 
on the Klip Drift side, and works at it himself like a navvy. 
He is on a visit to the fields for the purpose of proving the 
claim of the Transvaal Republic to them. A conference is to 
be held next week five miles up the river, on the Klip Drift 
side, at which the Presidents of the Transvaal Republic, 
Orange Free State, Diamond Fields, and three native chiefs, 
who all laid claim to the territory on the west bank of the 
Vaal River, from the mouth of the Hart River, running 
north, will be present. A man named Jacobs found a 434 
carat diamond to-day, valued at £1,000. 

4th. — Diamonds are being constantly found all around us. 
We are sinking very deep in our claim in comparison to our 
neighbors. It will take us three months to work out our 
claim. The running expenses of our party of two white 
men, seven Kaffirs, and Bowler is about £40 a month. 

8th. — The miners made arrangements for a subscription 
ball in honor of President Pretorius. It was successfully ar- 
ranged, and was held in President Parker's tent. There 
were about one hundred and fifty gentlemen, in all conceiv- 
able costumes, from the swallow-tail to a clean mining suit. 
Sixteen ladies graced the ball with their presence. There 
was no roof to the tent ; the floor was washed gravel from 
the mines. A few tallow candles dimly illuminated this gay 
and festive scene, and the moon had to do the balance. At 
one end a table was set with bottles of James Hennessy, wine, 
and soda water, which were kept continually in motion. The 
reserve stock of liquors and a lot of pies and cakes were 
lying near the side of the tent behind the bar, and a number 
of individuals reached under and cribbed a quantity, passing 
them round among the outsiders. The music consisted of an 


accordcon, fiddle, flute and bass drum. Although we did not 
have all we could wish for, our ball passed off pleasantly. 
We meandered to work again at daylight. 

10th. — Our bottom sieve being worn through, we had 
great difficulty in procuring another. We had to pay 155. 
for a piece two feet square, ordinarily worth Is. per foot. 

11th. — Purchased a lot of diamonds to-day, among them a 
most beautiful half carat octohedron, from a person who 
found it near our claim. It looks as if it had been cut. I 
had it set in a ring by a jeweler who has opened a shop at 
the mines. 

13tii. — Washed out seven loads, and found one diamond. 
After dinner went over to Klip Drift to see the new billiard 
saloon of Sangers, of Bloemfontein It is a frame, covered 
with canvas on the sides and an iron roof. Sanger has been 
taking £60 a day since he opened. Black pool seems to be 
the ruling game. About twelve or fifteen men are playing 
all day and night, at Is. each every half hour, and during 
that time they never take less than two drinks. Then there 
are about four card parties kept going day and night at un- 
limited loo. 

14th. — Met Sonnenburg, of Jacobsdahl, who informs me 
that he has secured four large farms on the Yaal River, below 
Pniel. Diamonds have been found on the surface of all of 
them by the natives. Sonnenburg intends to raise a stock 
company, and mine the farms on a large scale, and also turn 
the river on their fronts and work the bed of it. 

15th. — Wesser found a sixteen carat diamond to-day on 
this side. 

16th. — Our party found a half-carat diamond. 

17th. — We have now gone down ten feet; the soil has 
changed to a whitish color, but still contains a great number 
of water-worn pebbles. 

18th. — Met Mr. Farseneau, Portuguese Consul at Potchef- 
strom, Transvaal. He is also in the mercantile line at Potchef- 
strom, and is anxious that Americans should come to the 
Transvaal with capital and develop the country, lie says 
there is an immense field for legitimate speculation in that 
country. A thirty-six carat diamond was found by Webster 


at a kopie three miles below here. A twenty-six carat one 
was found on the Colesburg Kopie. 

19th. — Our party found a one carat diamond, triangular 
shaped. As a rush was being made to Webster^s Kopie, Raw- 
storne went down there and took up a claim. He managed 
to get one on the outskirts of the kopie ; worked it all day, 
but could find no wash or " cascalho." 

22d. — We found a If carat diamond. R. returned in dis- 
gust from Webster Kopie with the two boys, not having 
found any indication of diamonds in his claim. Our Kor- 
anna, named Hendrik, stole a diamond from our lower 
sieve, and tried to sell it to a friend of ours, who took it 
from him and gave it to us. We questioned Hendrik about 
it. He said he had found it on the Klip Drift side while 
walking along. As this was the second affair of the kind 
from him, I felt certain he had stolen it, and I complained to 
the committee. They said they could not punish him unless 
it was proved that he Had stolen it. So I returned and told 
Hendrik, in a mild and kind tone, that if ever I caught him 
stealing a diamond from our party, I would blow his brains 
out. He reformed! 

^ 24th.— Mr. De Kock, from Hopetown, informed me last 
night that he had worked in the fields for three months, and 
was £120 out. He was becoming discouraged, and would 
soon leave ; he looked very blue. At noon to-day I met him 
tearing down the road, with a countenance as radiant as an 
angel's, and meeting me with the remark of, " Look at that 
and weep," showed me a diamond that weighed fifty-four 
carats, and worth £5,000, that his boy had just handed to 
him. The boy saw it roll down the heap 
of "cascalho" while shoveling it in the 
" Tom." It is of a yellowish tinge, of this 
size and shape; a perfect octohedron. He 
leaves for home to-day, as happy as a king. 

25th.— Washed out ten loads. No dia- 
monds. Messrs. Parkes & Co., who are 
mining on the second kopie, Klip Drift side, had been 
working their claim for a month, and had found no dia- 
monds. They had only a small corner to work to finish it, 


when they intended to leave for home, in disgust. They 
offered their claim to a neighbor for £1, but as the offer 
was refused, they concluded to finish it themselves. At 
the very first pick, a beautiful fifty-six carat diamond 
rolled out about the same shape as De Kock's, but of 
first water and flawless. It is valued at £10,000. Parkes 
come over and invited us to call and see it. Rawstorne went 
over and saw it, and has been feeling bad ever since; it 
makes him covetous. Webster found at his kopie a nine 
carat and a twenty-six carat diamond to-day. A singular- 
looking diamond of nineteen carats was found on the second 
kopie at Klip Drift. It is of a bright yellow color, free from 
specks or flaws, and quite flat; it is valued at £2,000. Over 
£20,000 worth of diamonds found to-day. 

26th. — Washed out nine loads, and found one diamond. I 
was offered a twenty-six carat diamond to-day for £700, but 
upon examining it closely, found that it was split nearly in 
two. Didn't bite ! I purchased eleven diamonds to-day, all 
less than one carat each. 

27m — We found one diamond to-day, weighing one-eighth 
of a carat, first water. As one of our boys wanted it, we let 
him have it for 10s. 

28th.— Attended a ball at Mr. Biddulph's tent; three 
ladies and forty gentlemen present ; concluded not to dance ; 
sat up till daylight discussing politics with the two Presi- 
dents, and washing it down occasionally with * * * 

29th. — About a dozen gentlemen who had come from Coles- 
burg on a lark, and had been our guests for the last week, re- 
turned home to-day. They could not resist the temptation 
of mining v little themselves, and had found a diamond, for 
the ownership of which they played a game of seven up. 
We all had a regular square meal at Heathcote's tent before 
they left— boiled ham, roast mutton, mutton curry, plum 
pudding, * * * English ale, and a clean table-cloth. 

Sept. 1st.— Saw a beautiful dodecahedron diamond, If 
carats, of a bright orange color ; tried to purchase it, but the 
Dutchman would not sell. A trader named Franz Roose, 
who is mining and trading near Hebron, was awakened from 
his sleep at twelve o'clock last night by a Koranna native. 


Thinking that he wanted liquor, he would not let him in ; 
but finding that he had a diamond for sale, he got up and lit 
a candle, when the native rolled out of a dirty rag a mag- 
nificent sixty-three carat diamond. Roose was stunned for a 
minute, but recovering, asked the native what he wanted for 
it. lie said that he wanted R.'s wagon and ox team, twenty 
other oxen, one hundred sheep, and £30 in coin. R. told him 
lie could have it, and £20 worth of goods besides. R. was 
offered £5,000 for it; it had cost him £280. I saw the dia- 
mond to-day, and Roose told me the story. He says that the 
Koranna promises to tell him where he found it. It has a 
yellowish tinge on the outside, but it is not deep, and it may 
cut into a' 35 cart brilliant, and fetch £10,000 in Europe. 

2d. — Washed out fifteen loads to-day. JVb diamonds, A 
seventy-seven carat diamond was found on the old kopie at 
Klip Drift to-day. It is full of specks and flaws, and fit for 
boart only. Worth about £100. Mr. linger showed me 
over two hundred diamonds that he had purchased lately, 
mostly large sized ; one of forty carats. Mr. Robinson 
showed me a diamond of nine carats, that looked exactly like 
a crystal, and it had to be thoroughly tested before it was 
known to be a diamond. 

On the 8th I left for Bloemfontein and the Colony, having 
to leave two-thirds of my claim unworked, and attend to my 
regular business. We found several other diamonds before 
I left. 


Pniel (pronounced Peeneel) is situated on the east bank of 
the Vaal River, about 100 miles from its mouth. The dio*- 
gings are about three miles from the mission station. The 
Vaal at the diggings is about 200 yards wide, and numerous 
yawl ferries are constantly plying to and from Klip Drift, or 
Parkerton, as it is now called. A large wagon ferry has also 
been started, to be used at high water, when the river cannot 
be forded. A high kopie rises at the drift, from which a rand 
or spur runs down and parallel with the river. This rand is 


about fifty feet high, and more than a mile long, and it is on 
the top and sides of this that the diamonds are found. Dia- 
monds have been picked up from the top of the very highest 
kopie; but as none have been found there by mining, and as 
there is the remains of an old kraal or native hamlet still to be 
seen, it is presumed that the diamonds that were found on it 
were left there by the native children, who had picked them up 
from the surface of the rand, perhaps to play " Jack-stones " 
with. I have frequently wandered among the ruins of the 
kraal, looking for some of those lost "Jack-stones." The al- 
luvial deposit on this rand is about a mile long, 200 yards 
wide, and from twelve to thirty feet deep. The first deposit 
from the surface, about six inches, is of a brownish color. The 
second deposit, of about five feet; is quite red, and the other 
strata is white. All these strata, or deposits, contain a large 
percentage of water-worn pebbles, ranging from a pea to an 
egg in size. The diamonds are found among these pebbles. 
The bed rock is quite flat, and very much water-worn wher- 
ever you strike it. There are about 3,000 inhabitants at Pniel 
at present ; and although a great many leave for the new 
rushes, the place is gradually growing. There are stores, 
auction marts, saloons, billiard tables, bakers, butchers, doc- 
tors, lawyers, but no undertakers yet. But an enterprising 
acquaintance of mine has just started up with a nest of coffins 
on speculation, so that intending emigrants need have no fears 
of not being decently buried, in case they should want to re- 
main there. A post-office has been established, and a news- 
paper, called, the Diamond News, is successfully under way, 
and has six pages of news and advertisements; it is issued 
weekly (on Saturday). You can safely ship diamonds by post 
from here if you register them, and you can rely upon their 
being delivered to any part of the colony that you may wish 
to send them. 

At these diggings more diamonds have been found than at 
any other district of the diamond fields, but they average 
small (about one carat). Nearly every miner who got a claim 
within the limits that I have described above, was sure to get 
diamonds, but they would be small, and, perhaps, not pay ex- 
penses. Still, as you will see by my diary, quite a number of 



large diamonds were reported, and perhaps a great number of 
" bulls " were found and not reported. A tax of 10s. a month 
on all miners for each cradle is now enforced at PnieL This 
goes to the missionary society, but will hereafter go into the 
hands of the British Commissioner to be used, as occasion 
may require, at the mines. The claims allowed are thirty feet 
square, and will take an ordinary company of six four months 
to work out. The committee require that all miners shall 
sign the following rules for the miners and others of the Klip 
Drift Diggings : 

1. That the rules be called " Rules for the miners and occupiers of 
the Klip Drift Diggings." 

2. That the committee consist of seven (7) members. 

3. That four members constitute a quorum, and that the chairman 
have a casting vote, in addition to his vote as committee-man ; and in 
the absence of the permanent chairman, the members present to elect 
one from among themselves. 

4. That from and after the 15th July, 1870, any person working or 
taking a claim will be required to pay to the committee the sum of two 
shillings and sixpence (2s. 6d.) which will entitle him to a digger's right 
here. This sum to be expended for local purposes, as stated in Rule 
No. 18 ; and any digger failing to comply with this rule will render him- 
self liable to have his claim jumped. 

5. That the extent of a claim shall not exceed twenty feet square, 
and any one holding ground in excess is liable to have the surplus jump- 
ed, the part to be indicated by the owner of such claim. 

6. That no case or dispute will be entertained by the committee un- 
less the complainant first deposit the sum of ten shillings (10s.) in the 
hands of the secretary, the same to be refunded, in the event of the 
judgment being in his favor ; the loser to pay ten shillings (10s.) 

7. That no person or persons will be allowed to slaughter animals 
within the precincts of the camp, but on application to the committee 
certain places will be pointed out by them for that purpose. 

8. That any person or persons depositing night soil within the pre- 
cincts of the camp will be fined, except at such places as the commit- 
tee may point out. 

9. That any person or persons discharging fire-arms within the 
camp, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding £5. 

10. That no person shall be allowed to serve natives with liquors 
on Sundays, except for their employers, and not then without a written 
order, under a penalty of not exceeding £5, and no person selling liq- 
uors will be permitted to keep their places of business open after 11 
o'clock A.M. 

11. That all dead carcasses of animals be removed to a distance of at 


least half a mile from the precincts of the camp ; in default of which 
the committee will have the same done at the expense of the owner of 
the cart. 

12. That all thoroughfares be left free and uninterrupted. 

13. That all persons having or requiring a stand lor business pur- 
poses, shall pay to the committee the sum of twenty shillings (20s) per 

f month ; such stand to be not more than fifty feet square, and no per- 

son will pe permitted to take possession of any plot of ground without 
the sanction of the committee, and in the event of such ground beino- 
required for digging purposes, it shall be competent for the committee 
to order the occupier to remove to some other spot, after giving due 
notice. ° 

14. That no person or persons can convene a public meeting with- 
out sending a requisition, signed by at least twenty-five (25) diggers, to 
the committee, stating their reasons for wanting such meeting called. 

15. That for every contravention of the foregoing regulations, for 
which no penalty has been provided, a fine not exceeding five pounds 
(£5) sterling will be imposed on conviction, recoverable as provided for 
in Rule No. 17. 

16. That it be in the power of the committee to act in such cases as 
are not provided for in the foregoing rules. 

17. That in the event of non-payment of a fine, the committee re- 
serve to themselves the right of holding a sale of such property of the 
individual as shall cover the amount, and every digger will be expected 
to assist the committee in enforcing their decision. ' 

18. That all moneys derived from claims, fines, and other sources, be 
expended in sanitary and other purposes necessary to the diggers of 
this place. 

19. That every digger be required to sign the foregoing rules, and 
those failing to do so, will not be entitled to protection. 

Stafford ^Parker, President. 

The claim adjoining mine has paid £4,000, and has not been 
half worked out. The largest diamond found on it sold for 
£1,700—1 could not find out the weight of it; while a claim 
on the other side of mine did not pay expenses, although dia- 
monds were found in it. There seem to be regular runs, 
which are only found by accident. These runs may not be 
more than two feet wide; but for ten feet on each side, not a 
single diamond will be found. Now, in Brazil and India, a 
regular diamond miner can tell the instant that he comes 
across a diamond run, and he will not waste his time in wash- 
ing any other kind of soil. In Brazil, where small diamonds 
predominate, a miner who has been brought up to the busi- 



ness can tell the average yield of " cascalho " before washing 
it, like the silver miners of Mexico, who can tell the average 
value of a heap of ore, merely from the appearance of it. 

Parkerton, formerly called Klip Driit, now named after 
Stafford Parker, who first let the world know of the existence 
of diamond mines there, and who has been president and lead- 
ing man of that side of the river ever since, contains at pres- 
ent about two thousand white inhabitants, who mostly live 
in tents. Some have built frames in the shape of a house, 
which they cover over with canvas, having swinging doors 
and windows to them. Others had frame houses built at the 
colonial towns, and brought up in pieces on ox wagons ; others 
brought corrugated iron houses, and at least half a dozen 
houses were built of unburnt brick. During a thunder storm 
that passed over the place a short time ago, almost every hut 
and house was leveled with the ground. Since then, they 
have been more substantially put up. The place is gradually 
assuming the shape of a laid-out town ; the old mining roads 
have become streets. Town lots of about 100 feet square, 
have been taken up on the second, or Town Kopie, and Availed 
in by those who chose to do so. In the main street, which 
runs parallel with the river, Mr. Parker has built a brick mu- 
sic hall, at which theatrical performances take place, and ven- 
triloquists, minstrels, etc., give entertainments. There are 
half a dozen doctors, two diamond merchants, a photograph- 
er, two butchers' slfops, two bakers', and about a dozen stores, 
where you can purchase groceries, drugs, clothes, hardware, 
boots and shoes, mining tools, and everything else that a 
miner requires. There are also several carpenters' and black- 
smiths' shops; also two jewelers' shops, and drinking saloons, 
till you can't rest. The building of several churches is con- 
templated, and they will probably soon be up. At present, 
Divine service is held in the committee tent and billiard sa- 
loons, of which latter there are three ; also at the music hall. 
Sunday is strictly observed ; all the stores and saloons are 
closed, and large congregations assemble at the different ser- 
vices. There are about 250 women and children at Parkerton, 
which gives the place an air of civilization, especially on Sun- 
days, when they come out in their best store clothes. Deacon 



Kitton is there at present, establishing an English church. 
^climate at Parkerton is healthy, and, consmermg the 
xnanner in which people live, there is very little ****** 
Slight fever prevails dnring the summer, hut it seldom pnnes 
S. Occasionally they have terrific rain storms ac^omp a- 
nied by thunder and lightning. The government ol Parker- 
tou is carried on by Mr. Campbell, the magistrate -JJ£*££ 
the English Government. The miners will, no doubt, d u a e 
a greafer benefit by having a strong hand to govern . hen, 
than bv bavin- a Republic of their own ; at least till the 
^ te ifas Lome mole settled. The 0^ *™^ 
has been very liberal to emigrants, and the colonists aie 
21 that a good class of emigrants should come out and 
settle in the Colony. Americans, especially, are bought 
vtry hghly of on account of their energy and enterprise 
The English language is the prevailing one at the mines but 
Sere art> a great many Dutch there who can not understand 
a word of English. The natives around Parkerton are called 
Korannls- they are of a dark mulatto line, and not at all 
B-orannaa, u y nn , n .,,,,i \, y the number of 

dangerous, being completely overawed oy 
White men at the mines, but they will steal if they get a 
chance The best laborers come from the far north, on the 
LiTpope 5 they are called Kaffirs, and are quite black, and gen- 
c Sly honest. Capt. Gordon and Mr. Green, at Pmel have 
tl ' ee of these black each, and they trust them altogether in 
Z 2 g washing, and sorting; and I have frequent y seen 
inland their' masters the diamonds that they had found 
tTerhans the day before. Provisions can be bought at the 
foil w ng prices^: beef, HdL per lb.; mutton, 3<Z. per -do.., bu^ 
t I perdo.; coffee, U. per do. ; sugar, id. per do. ; flour, 
Til p'd 100 lbs.; meal, 7, per do.; potatoes 4,. per do; 
co n 3s. per do. Forage for mules or horses, 6,?. per bundle, 
or one feed; board ami lodging at the hotels, 10. per day; 
5^5 P- drink. The photographer charges 20. a dozen 
for cartes-de-msUe. Small-size cradles are ^1/1^ 
Yankee Babies £2 10.,, and everthing else, inching clothe 
and hardware, are as cheap as at the sea-ports. As at all 
and narawa ator e B are generally overstocked With 

new mining camps, the stoics aie geiie j „ 011 .„ mience 

.cods as soon as the rush commences, and the consequence 




is, that the prices soon go down. All the store-keepers wil 1 
take diamonds for their goods, and will give the highest price 
for them that is given at the mines. The two diamond mer- 
chants also give very good prices in cash for all diamonds 

brought them. 


The next important mining camp is Hebron, situated about 
twenty miles above Pniel, and on the west side of the Vaal 
River. There are several stores here, and about one thousand 
white men, women, and children. Among the traders there 
is one named Robinson, who has purchased over one hundred 
diamonds from natives, who have found them on the surface. 
He has, no doubt, made his fortune. Hebron has not turned 
out as many or as fine diamonds as Parkerton or Pniel, 
and there has not been as great a percentage of successful 
miners there as at the above places. No tax is demanded 
there yet, but the place has been under the authority of the 
Klip Drift Government, and is now within the jurisdiction of 
Mr. Campbell, the magistrate. Bloemhof, a village about 
one hundred miles above Pniel, and on the Free State side of 
the Yaal River, has produced some diamonds, but there are 
very few miners working there. Diamonds have been found 
on the surface by the natives all the way from Bloemhof to 
Pniel, but no rich deposit has been discovered yet except at 
Hebron; but there is no doubt that there are plenty of rich 
deposits somewhere between these places. 

Webster's Kopie, three miles below Pniel, on the Free State 
side, has turned out a great many diamonds, mostly large 
ones. The largest known weighs about forty carats. Mr. 
Webster, who discovered this kopie, has made a fortune there, 
having fortunately struck the best part of it upon his arrival. 
The balance was immediately taken up by miners from the 
great camps, who rushed there upon finding out that Webster 
had made the discovery. Webster was entitled to four 


claims for opening the new mines ; thus he secured the best 
part of the kopie. 

Good Hope and New Hope are situated nearly opposite 
Webster's Kopie, on the west bank of the Vaal. At both 
these places a large number of diamonds were found, and 
rushes ensued from the great camps to them 

Gong Gong, another rich place, is situated fifteen miles 
belo^sv Pniel, on the west bank. The deposit extends over a 
great extent of ground, and at least five hundred miners are 
working here, and some rich deposits have been turned up. 

Lucas Kopie, nearly opposite Gong Gong, on the Free 
State side, has proved exceedingly rich for such a small area. 
Captain Lucas and party are from Natal. Some of them 
were members of the Rolliston party, of Old Kopie celebrity. 
They came over to Pniel when the place was opened to all 
comers, and were doing very well at a claim near .mine, when 
one morning we found that their camp and claim had been 
deserted. Upon inquiry, we found that a Koranna had in- 
formed Captain Lucas that he had found a diamond on the 
surface of a certain kopie sixteen miles down the river ; so 
Captain L. rode down and examined the place. He liked it 
so well that he determined to move the whole company down 
at once. As his company could not hold the whole of the 
kopie, he got three other Natal companies to join him, 
making four companies of sixteen men, who would work the 
whole kopie on equal shares. So at midnight they packed 
up and started for the new diggings, passing through the 
camps as quietly as possible, so as not to be observed and 
cause a rush. By next day it was found out, and a rush was 
made ; but they were too late. The Xatalians had taken up 
all the claims that were worth anything. In six weeks the 
Natalians had taken out £80,000 worth of diamonds, one of 
them weighing 108 carats, and worth £40,000. This gave 
each £5,000 for his six weeks' work. The kopie is one mile 
and a half from the river, and they had to haul water to 
their claims, and wash the "cascalho" in a stretched ox hide, 
and with common hand sieves. 

Cawood's Hope, near Lucus' Kopie, on the west bank, is 
now turning out an immense number of diamonds. There 


are about one thousand miners there now. The last and 
greatest rush has just taken place to Sifonel, about twenty- 
five miles below Parkerton, on the west bank. This is where 
Jautjie, the paramount chief of the whole of the diamond 
district on the west bank, resides. At least two thousand 
miners are working there now, and it has turned out im- 
mensely rich. 

An American named Bebell, whose father (a retired sea 
captain) is residing now in Brooklyn, N. Y., has been 
business agent and secretary to this chief for several years. 
He has been trading with the natives for ivory and ostrich 
feathers, and when diamonds were first discovered he fre- 
quently purchased them from the natives. He went up to 
Klip Drift and Hebron while the Natal and King William's 
Town parties were hunting for the deposits of diamonds, but 
left before the mines were discovered. Before leaving, how- 
ever, he obtained from Jautjie a concession of all the country 
on the west bank that Jautjie claimed, for thirty years, 
giving £150 for this privilege, and five per cent, on all taxes 
that Bebell might collect from miners working on the fields, 
in case the mines should be discovered. Bebell then loaded 
his wagon with goods and started on a trading expedition, 
more especially to trade with the natives for diamonds. He 
followed the west bank of the Vaal down to its mouth, and 
then the Orange River to the mouth of the great Haarte 
Beeste River. He found similar soil to that at Klip Drift all 
the way down. After leaving the Haarte Beeste River, the 
country changed to a sandy soil, covered with bushes. He 
then struck off the Orange River in a northerly direction, 
going as far as lat. 25° south. He then came in a southerly 
direction near to the mouth of the Orange River, and leaving 
his wairon at Kookfontein, walked over to Port Nolloth, on 
the Atlantic, and took a schooner for Capetown. He had not 
heard from the diamond district for six months, and he was 
astonished to learn that during his absence the mines had 
been discovered and a great rush made, and that there were 
one thousand white men finding diamonds at Sifonel, where 
he had been living for several years. He immediately issued 
the following proclamation, and started for the mines : 


"Proclamation". — Diamond Diggers, Take Notice! — 
I, David Bebell, do hereby give notice that I am legally 
authorized to grant licenses to parties desiring to dig for 
diamonds and other precious stones within the territory of 
Yarki Mothebe (Jautjie), paramount chief of the Batlapene 
Nation, which territory lies on the west side of the Yaal 

" The right was granted me by concession, dated May 
20th, 1870, by the said chief and his councillors. Applica- 
tion for licenses to be made at Lekatlong, the residence of the 
chief. The charge for individual licenses will be 2s. 6d. 
sterling per month." 

If his claim is upheld by the British Government, he will 
charge the miners 2 s. Q>d. a month only for license to mine, 
and Bebell will make his everlasting pile. 

About thirty miles from Pniel, in a southerly direction, and 
ten miles from the Yaal, on the Free State, there is a farm of 
over six hundred- acres that has turned out rich in diamonds. 
Five hundred small ones have been picked up from the sur- 
face. It was purchased from the Dutch owner by a company 
from the Colony for £2,000, and they are making prepara- 
tions to work it on a large scale. About a month ago two 
hundred miners went down from the great camp and jumped 
it ; but the owners called upon the Free State Government for 
protection, and they sent a command to Bulfontein, and the 
miners left without resistance. 

Jairersfontein rs the name of another diamondiferous farm 
near Faursmith, owned by a family named Yisser. They 
have allowed about fifty Dutch families to mine on the farm 
and w T ash at the dam, and they have turned out a large num- 
ber of diamonds, among them one that weighed over fifty 
carats. The Visser family get one-fourth of the proceeds of 
all the finds. The head of the family is a widow, fat, not 
fair, but fully forty. Any nice young man, that thinks he is 
fascinating and irresistible enough, had better come out and 
marry that farm. 

There are many other farms where diamonds have been 
found upon the surface, and perhaps many others where they 
have not originally been found there, but salted to catch 


some unwary speculator. There is no doubt but that one 
thousand kopies will yet prove rich in diamonds, and a thou- 
sand fortunes made; but still, there will be a thousand men 
who will fail even in making a living at diamond mining. 
As yet it is all chance; after a while, when men become 
better acquainted with the geology of the country, they will 
have a better chance of success. Large companies, who will 
work a whole farm systematically, are sure of success. 

Jagersfontein— The following is an extract from a 
private letter: " On coming to this farm, you come through 
a small port, and a large basin surrounded by kopies meets 
your view. From the kopies to the present claims is a gra- 
dual descent, which leads me to think that the diamonds 
now found must, at some time or other, have been washed to 
their present resting places. No pretty pebbles here ; the 
gravel is of the commonest description, and full of garnets, 
green stone, and carbon. In digging, when no more gravel 
can be found, the claim is given up, as diamonds are only 
found in the gravel. Each claim pays £2 per month, and you 
can dig where you like, and open as many different places as 
you think proper. . . . Each claim is twenty feet square. 
At present my hole is about twelve feet deep, and after all 
the gravel is taken out of the sides and bottom, and no more 
gravel, we sink another one alongside, and so on till the claim 
is worked out. For the first three feet nothing is met with 
but black pot clay, and then red pot clay, which continues 
till you get to gravel; and if no gravel, rotten sand of a 
greenish color, when the digger finds that it is of no use 
going further, and tries his luck at some other spot. To 
show you how the nature of the soil varies : a farmer from 
Fort Beaufort took the next claim to mine, and went dowm 
ten feet without finding the least sign of gravel, and conse- 
quently gave up his claim and looked for another one ; while 
in mine, from the first four feet down to twelve, I found lots 
of gravel, with every chance of its continuance. From the 
pit the gravel is thrown up on the sifting floor, and dry sifted 
in an ordinary lime sieve, fine ; it is then thrown into a bread 
tin, with small holes in the bottom, and held in a half cask 
containing water, the gravel well rubbed with the hand ; it is 


then placed in another half cask adjoining, and well washed 
in the pan, the water drained off, and then the contents placed 
on my table, where I sort. I have four posts driven into the 
ground, over the top of which I have a white cotton sheet to 
keep the sun off, and under this I sit, in front of my sorting- 
table, from six o'clock in the morning till six in the evening, 
allowing one hour for breakfast and another for dinner ; so 
you will see that I am not idle. In sorting, with a little 
practice, you can go through a deal of gravel in a day. 
With a small piece of iron, with the turn of the hand, you 
bring before you some dozens of stones at oilce, and at a 
single glance can see if there is a diamond or not, and if the 
latter, sweep off sharp; and so on till your day's work is 


The washing cradle consists of a chest of drawers on 
rockers, generally about three feet six inches in height and 
two feet six inches in length, and two feet in breadth. The 
hopper is twelve inches in height, and by its spread makes 
the receptacle for " cascalho " one foot each way wider than 
the cradle. The drawers are made of teak wood, to prevent 
them from swelling when wet. The sides of these drawers 
are three inches high, and a space of three inches is left 
between each drawer, to allow of a small rake to be intro- 
duced for the purpose of stirring the washed pebbles occa- 
sionally. The pieces of wood that the drawers slide upon 
should be one inch wide, and reach from the top of one 
drawer to the bottom of the one above, making a close fit, so 
that the pebbles can not get in between their sides and choke 
up the drawers so that they could not be drawn out. The 
top drawer should be sheet iron, with half or five-eight inch 
holes about an inch apart. All the pebbles that do not pass 
through these holes can be readily examined and thrown 
aside without emptying them on a table. The second drawer 
must have a wire bottom, with the holes half an inch in size, 
and the bottom drawers must be made of one-sixteenth inch 
wire mesh. All that will pass through this last sieve will not 
pay to sort. The last two drawers are emptied on a table 


for sortme Any kind of a pump will do that can throw 
Su-ee ncltes of later through the hose to the top of the 
sluice, where the dirt is placed and washed into the cradle 
They generally put about ten shovclsful m at a washing, and 
this takes about five minutes to wash. 


The dry sifter is set in a frame made of four-inch scantling, 
well and strongly lined with cross-pieces. The sifting ma- 
Ihhie is hung in this frame on straps. At the rear the ma- 
chine is three inches high, and at two feet from the rear 
it widens to one foot in height, thus giving the desired inch- 
nation, to both sieves, so that the « cascalho" can easily drop 
off at either end. The top sieve consists of one-eighth inch 
wire, placed one inch apart, and crossed with wire at the 
same distances. The lower sieve is of one-sixteenth inch wire 
mesh, and allows only the fine sand to pass through it 
Now the lower and upper sieve are held together with firm 
sides of plank, and are consequently shaken together from 
side to side. One miner shovels in the oascalho at the 
top sieve, which is protected by a hopper, while another 
shakes it, and watches the large pebbles pass out, to see 
that no « bulls," or large diamonds, escape. The pebbles 
under an inch in size pass through into the o^xteenth|inch 
sieve, and all but the fine gravel and sand passes to the front 
and empties on the ground ready for carting to the river The 
coarse gravel and fine sand are left on the ground and g£ 
erally amount to from one-half to two- thirds of the cas- 
calho" dug out, and there is that much less hauling saved 
and the washing is also facilitated by getting rid of the fine 
nd tl a helps°to clog up the lower sieve. The drawing is 
on the scale of one inch to the foot, and is the average and 
best size for the machine. It is in general use , * .the ^ mines 
during dry weather, but in wet it is useless, and all the cas- 
calho " has to be hauled to the river and washech Die wood 
work is generally made of the yellow wood of South Africa. 






























pUVS 5V if 



* Q *< 







Theee are several ways of washing for diamonds in South 
Africa, and they seem to be a decided improvement on the 
Brazilian system. After the " cascalho " is dug from the 
mines, it is sifted. The very coarse stones, or those larger 
than, say, a cubic inch, are thrown to one side, and the very 
fine gravel and sand passes through the sieve, and is also 
thrown on one side. The middlings, or all gravel, from one- 
sixteenth of a cubic inch to an inch are then hauled down to 
the river for washing, or washed at the mine. The dry sift- 
ing used to be clone with a common meal-sieve, or a two- 
handed square one that was invented later ; two men would 
use this while another would shovel in. I then invented a 
machine which has been universally copied, and which the 
miners christened the " Yankee Baby;" and one man could 
sift with this machine as much in ten hours as four could 
with the common sifter. (This machine is described else- 
where.) The miners generally rise at break of day, and dig, 
sift, and cart till 9 a.m., when they have breakfast. At 10 
a.m. they commence to wash and sort at the river or at the 
mine ; one person rocks the cradle, while another pours in 
water that he dips with a pail from the river. The rocker 
then sorts the stones in the upper sieve, and empties the peb- 
bles from the middle and bottom sieves on a common table, 
where they are carefully sorted or examined by the sorters. 
A scraper, similar to a knife, is used to spread out a handful 
of gravel from the pile. This is looked over for an instant, 
and then scraped off, and another batch scraped from the 
pile for examination. After the first diamond is found, which 
causes a peculiarly pleasant sensation to the finder, who, see- 
ing how easily they are recognized at first sight, is enabled to 
sort very rapidly, without fear of losing any diamonds ; some, 
however, go a little too fast after a while, and scrape off the 
diamonds and lose them. Mr. Unger saw a man scrape off an 
eight carat diamond one day from his table. He then picked 


it up and gave him over £100 for it. I knew of an instance 
where a Dutchman, who had paved his tent with washed 
pebbles, picked out three diamonds from it that had been 
scraped off the table by some careless sorter. Some of the 
miners, especially the Dutch, get a gre n ox hide, and lace 
the edges to a square frame ; set this frame upon four legs at 
the mine, and fill the hide with stones to stretch it bowl- 
shape. After it was sufficiently stretched they would haul 
water from the river and wash the "cascalho" in it with a com- 
mon meal-sieve, having previously dry-sifted it. They would 
then sort the washed pebbles. The sieves used were y 1 - or 
T V of an inch mesh. This was a very slow way of getting 
on. The men could not get more than about one cart-load a 
day dug and washed, while with the rocker at the river two 
men could get through three loads a day.' With our ma- 
chines, pump, and hose, two white men and five boys, we 
could get through fifteen cart-loads a day. About six feet 
frontage is allowed at the river for each cradle or machine. 
The sorting is the most monotonous part of the work, and 
five boys will wash enough in four hours to keep three 
men sorting ten hours. At 1 o'clock the work is knocked off 
for tiffin or lunch. At 4 o'clock the washers cease, and o TJ to 
mining for next day's washing. Some of the miners cart their 
"cascalho" during moon-light nights to the river ready for 
washing next day ; but in winter it is too cold to wash earlier 
than 9 a.m. Some of the miners have a regular Californian 
"longtom" and an Australian pump. The pump is made of 
four pieces of plank, twelve feet long by four inches wide ; 
a common leather suction is placed on the end of a long pole 
and inserted into this tube. The pump is then placed in a re- 
clining position, with one end in the river and the other over 
the upper end of the torn. One man, with a lonsr, regular 
stroke, can keep a constant stream of three inches running 
while two men are kept constantly raking the "easealho " back- 
ward and forward, till the water runs clear; then they take 
the washed stuff out by the shovelful and put it on the sort- 
ing-table. I do not approve of this plan, as the raking can 
be dispensed with by rocking, and thus two movements 
saved, making it less tiresome to the miner; and there is 


always danger of small diamonds being washed away. 
Pumps are also used for supplying the cradles with water, 
instead of buckets, and it is much the best way, as they give 
a steady supply. At 6 p.m. the miners knock off work and 
dine ; after which some would write, some would make their 
purchases of provisions, and others would go to the main 
camp and play billiards, black-pool, or unlimited loo; others 
would hunt up the diamond merchants and sell their finds, 
or go to the store where they had diamond scales and weigh 
them, if they intended to keep them for the European market. 
Parties from America do not require to purchase much in 
that country. Californian long-handled shovels and picks are 
the only things that can not be had here yet, but a supply 
of these articles will soon find their way here, no doubt. If 
they come via England they can obtain most of their sup- 
plies there at a much cheaper rate than in America. You 
can obtain an outfit in any of the South African ports much 
cheaper than in America, but not so cheap as in England. 
Wagons, oxen, mules, and horses must be purchased in Africa. 
No foreign wagon will stand the climate. I was foolish 
enough to purchase a wagon in England. I had it made of 
ash, very strongly, and shipped it to Natal in 1869. I got 
about 500 miles into the interior, when it broke down so 
completely that I had to give up the expedition, and get 
back to the coast the best way I could. Tents that sell in 
England, at EdoWton's, No. 2 Duke Street, London Bridge, 
for £5, sell in Capetown for £8, and in America for about 
£10. They are nine feet, regular house-shaped. The follow- 
ing is the necessary outfit for four men, this number being 
best to start with from America, as it lessens the expenses of 
each, and they can divide into two companies at the mines 
and hire native labor : 
Either an ox wagon and 14 oxen, or a spring wagon and 6 mules. .£150 

A nine-foot tent 5 

A Scotch cart, 2 mules, or 4 oxen 40 

Six months' provisions 50 

A set of mining tools 5 

A set of carpenters' tools 

A diamond washer • 

A clry-sifter * 


Cooking utensils £3 

100 feet of 12-inch planking 2 


Passage from America, first-class 120 


or say £100 each. Now, there is a cheaper way than the 
above, by taking second-class passage from America, and then 
by paying passage from the African sea-port to the diamond 
fields, thus avoiding the heavy cost of a wagon and team; 
but the advantage of having a team of your own is, that you 
are not necessarily confined to the great mining camps, but 
can o-o a long way from them and prospect on new grounds, 
and perhaps strike on a new and rich kopie that has never 
been discovered before. The expense of the cheaper plan 
would be as follows for four men : 

Passage to the mines from sea-ports of Africa £40 

A Scotch cart and 4 oxen at the mines 50 

A tent 5 

Mi&ing tools • 

Cookinff utensils ** 

A few carpenter's tools 

A common washing cradle 

A dry sifter , 3 

Second-class passage from America, £20 each 80 

Lumber, say about. ~ 


or say £50 each. The necessary clothing is of course not in- 
cluded in the above, but a miner must have two suits of 
strong corduroy (colored), or^c suit of plain clothes for Sundays 
and other occasions, two pairs of nail-studded navvy boots, 
one pair walking boots, one heavy pea-jacket, two sets of un- 
derclothing, four woolen overshirts, four pairs woolen socks, 
a single mattress and pillow (hair is best) ; have the mat- 
tress and pillow covered with a colored cotton slip that can 
be taken off and washed; two double blankets, towels, toilet 
necessaries, sewing materials, a few medicines such as qui- 
nine, anti-bilious pills, castor oil, etc. ; a leather belt, a sport- 
ing rifle and ammunition ; and a marine glass is also very- 
useful in looking out for game or lost cattle, Diamond scales 


are also necessary for those who contemplate purchasing or 
selling diamonds, or who intend to prospect at a distance from 
the main camp. It is well to learn how to take the specific 
gravity of the diamond before leaving home. There ought 
to be at least one watch in the company, and a small mari- 
ner's compass for exploring parties. 

I would advise no one to come to this country unless they 
have a capital, or can stand hard work; and not even the 
better class if they do not have means to give them a year's 
outfit, and in case of failure to take them home again. It is 
the worst place in the world for a penniless man to come to. 
He cannot get work, nor can he get a passage home again ; 
and the best thing he can do is to drown himself, or steal 
something and be sent to the breakwater, where he will be 
provided for by the State. To men of means who are seek- 
ing a chance for investment, I will say that there are splendid 
opportunities for it, not only at the diamond mines, but all 
through the Colony, the adjacent republics, and the Portu- 
guese settlements. 


Six months after the previous chapters were written, I 
concluded, to return to the diamond fields and give them 
another trial. I went up this time by the Inland Transpor- 
tation Company's wagon, drawn by eight horses. There 
were eleven other passengers besides myself; among them 
three ladies who were going to the fields to join their hus- 
bands and brothers. There were also three ex-English officers, 
who had sold out their commissions and were bound for the 
diamond fields to try their luck. Wagon, passengers, and 
twenty pounds of baggage for each were put upon the rail- 
way train bound to Wellington, fifty miles above Capetown, 
where we were landed in a few hours, and inspanning eight 
fine horses, started over the mountain road to Klip Drift, 
700 miles distant. Arrived at a pretty town called " Ceres " 





_ I 

-'•■' J 






( J 
















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W J 



at 8 p.m., and we obtained good bed and board till 6 a.m. 
next morning, when we resumed our journey, generally- 
getting good board and beds every night; passing suc- 
cessively through the towns of Beaufort West, Victoria 
West, and Hopetown, and arriving at Pniel and Klip Drift 
on the afternoon of the twelfth day. I found upon my ar- 
rival at Pniel and Klip Drift that extensive alterations had 
taken place in both towns. There were more substantial 
buildings up, built of stone, brick, iron, and wood, mostly 
stores, doing a wholesale business with the neighboring 
camps up and down the river and inland. But there were 
not one-tenth as many miners as were here when I left ; most 
of them had gone up and down the rivers after working out 
their claims here. Just at this present moment a great rush 
had been made about twenty miles down the river, below 
Cawood's Hope, and on the Klip Drift side of the Yaal. I 
went down there, and found that there were at least 5,000 
diggers mining among the huge bowlders on a flat that is cov- 
ered with water from the river. During the rainy season, the 
claims are quite shallow, and a thirty-foot claim does not last 
longer than from one to two months, while at Pniel the claims 
last from six to twelve months. When I returned to Pniel, 
where I stopped at a very good hotel that had lately been 
put up, " Jardine's," I learned of a new inland deposit that 
had just been discovered. About six months ago, a Dutch- 
man, named Du Toit, while sitting in front of his mud- 
plastered house, discovered a small diamond sticking in the 
plaster. He aroused himself with an effort from his normal 
state of laziness, and continued his search around the house, 
and discovered in all seventeen small diamonds. After a few 
days' thought, he remembered having, some years ago, made 
this plaster from mud gathered near his dam ; and thither he 
and his family went, about one hundred yards from the house, 
and getting on their hands and knees, discovered quite a 
number of small diamonds, all the way from one-sixteenth to 
one carat in size. Lillienfield and Webb, two diamond mer- 
chants, purchased this farm from Du Toit for £2,000 in 
"bluebacks" (Orange Free State currency), and set about 
fifty men working on it, and up to this time they had taken 


out over 500 diamonds, the largest, however, not being over 

five carats in weight. 

A rush was soon made from the river diggings for this 
place, called Bulfontein, and some five hundred diggers 
jumped the claims and commenced to work them on their 
own account, in spite of the protests of the owners. Finally 
the owners prevailed on the State authorities to send a com- 
mand of one thousand armed men to run the jumpers off. 
Upon the approach of this body the jumpers fled, some of 
them to the next farm, called " Du Toit's Pan," and while 
prospecting, found a deposit there also. They immediately 
jumped this farm and organized a committee, who laid out 
claims of thirty feet square, and the miners commenced work. 
A great rush immediately ensued, and in two months there 
were 20,000 miners and their families there. Water was 
scarce, hardly enough for drinking, and the " cascalho" had 
to be sifted and worked dry. Lillienfield and Webb soon 
managed to purchased this farm also, and as they saw that 
the miners were determined to remain in spite of them and 
the " comando," they concluded not to try and get them off, 
but to let them remain if they would pay Lillienfield and 
Webb 10s. 6d. per month for each claim. The mirers con- 
sented, and went back to Bulfontein and jumped it again, on 
the same terms. The two deposits join now, and contain 
about two thousand claims, which, with the rents from town 
lots in the camps, yield the proprietors not less than £1,000 

per month net. 

Soon after this, diamonds were discovered on another farm 
adjoining Du Toit's Pan, called De Been's Farm. This 
proved to be richer still than either Bulfontein or Du Toit's 
Pan. An acquaintance of mine found over 150 diamonds in 
two months, some of them over sixteen carats in weight. 
4 At all the above places diamonds were found, weighing from 
30 to 127 carts; this last was found in a claim fronting my 
tent at Du Toit's. The Dutch farmer who dug it out com- 
menced dancing and hollering, and soon raised a large crowd 
around him. lie jumped upon his sorting-table, and holding 
up the diamond, showed it to the crowd. It was truly a 
monster. Then jumping down again, he made a straight line 




for his tent, and striking it, gathered up his household gods, 
insparined his oxen, and left for home, saying that he had 
enough, and that any one who chose could have his claim. 
That claim was jumped instanter, but I never heard of 
another diamond being found in it, although they were being 
found every day in the adjoining claims. A ninety carat 
diamond was found next to mine at Bulfontein, also by a 
Dutchman. By this time there were 30,000 people at the 
three farms, and quite a town had sprung up at each camp, 
full of canteens and stores, billiard and bowling saloons. 
Over 1,000 females are in camp, and on Sunday they are all 
out-going to the different churches, dressed in their store 
clothes, and gay store clothes they are too. 

About the 1st of August, 1871, my former partner at 
Pniel, Fleetwood Rawstorne, sent a negro to herd his cattle 
at a place where there was an abundance of green grass, 
one and a half miles from De Been's claims, where R. was 
mining very successfully. The native, while sitting under a 
tree, picked up a small diamond, and upon his return to camp 
he told his master of the discovery, and the next morning R. 
and his company went over there and laid out claims. It was 
soon reported at the different camps, and a general rush was 
made, and in two days over 800 claims were taken up. T'iis 
place proved to be the richest deposit that was ever known 
in the world ; the claims rose rapidly in price ; thirty foot 
claims were divided into half and quarter claims, and these 
parts were sold to newcomers for from' £25 to £500 per 
quarter claim. The deposit seemed to have no bottom. Be- 
fore I left, some had sunk to a depth of seventy feet, and 
found diamonds every day all the way down, striking water 
at this depth, but no bed rock. I have known quite a num- 
ber of miners to find from five to twelve diamonds a day, and 
they generally run large, some as high as ninety earats in 
weight. AYhen I left in October, there were 5,000 people 
there, 75 per cent, of them doing well. There were as many 
as four different companies working a full claim, and none of 
the claims were more than one-third worked out. The place 
is named De Been's New Rush, or Colesburg Kopie. 




Du Ton's Pax, De Been's, and Bulfontein arc about 
twenty-four miles south of Klip Drift, and sixteen miles from 
the nearest point on the Vaal River. As there is no water 
to be had but from the dams that the Dutch farmers have 
built to collect rain water in, the " cascalho " has to be 
worked dry. The Yaal River is 180 feet lower than the de- 
posit of diamonds at the above three camps, and conse- 
quently a canal can not be cheaply built to furnish water 
enough to wash the diamondiferous soil. 

The deposits of diamondiferous soil are generally in what 
appear to be the craters of extinct volcanoes, filled up even 
with the top, surmounted with a ledge or rim of rock slate. 
At De Been's New Rush, this deposit consists of, first, a layer 
of light sand, containing but lew diamonds ; then a deposit 
of red clay that contains a few diamonds ; then a thick bed 
of carbonate of lime, containing a great many diamonds ; and 
last, a very thick deposit of decomposed green stone, that 
contains the greatest quantity, the largest and best quality 
of the precious gems. I know of one party who has gone 
down in his claim over seventy feet, and has found diamonds 
all the way down to the bottom, where he has struck water 
in small quantities. 

These apparent craters are generally from 200 to 500 yards 
in diameter, and contain from 800 to 1,200 thirty-feet claims; 
?! feet of every other claim is reserved for a road that is 
used by carts that haul off the refuse from the claims after 
it has been sifted. This refuse contains a large number of 
hard lumps of carbonate of lime, that have been found too 
hard to break readily, so are thrown aside and carted off to 
the adjoining plain, and dumped as useless. Rains have 
come afterward, and, decomposing these lumps, disclosed 
diamonds to the fortunate passer-by. A native found one of 
fifty carats while passing one of these heaps, that had been 
washed out of a lump by the rain. Any machine that could 
be invented to crush these lamps quickly and cheaply, and 


















not crush the diamonds that might be contained in them (for 
a diamond will crush), will be insured a large fortune at the 


The manner of mining at the dry diggings is as follows: 
Usually a company consists of two white men and four na- 
tives. It takes the four natives all their time to dig and sift 
out enough dirt to keep the two white men sorting. The 
negroes dig out the soil (there are no large stones like at the 
river), and laying it in a basin that they cut in the claim, 
pound it with a heavy sledge, to break up as many lumps as 
they can; they then shovel it into a coarse hand-screen, the 
wires of which are about one inch apart, and shake it through, 
throwing all the lumps aside to be carted away, then shovel- 
ing the balance into an oblong sieve, three feet long by two 
feet wide, the sieving of which is made of No. 18 wire, the 
holes being one-eighth of an inch in size. After shaking the 
fine stuff through this last sieve, all that remains in it is 
emptied on a common board table, where the sorters are ; 
each sorter has a table-knife-shaped instrument in his right 
hand, and from the pile he scrapes about a handful, spreads 
it out with one sweep, and tells in an instant if there are any 
diamonds in it or not ; if there are none, he throws it off, 
and repeats this all day. It is not hard work, but rather 
monotonous. The moment a diamond is found, at least a 
dozen diamond merchants will be after it, and you can sell 
your gem for gold instantly ; or if you prefer you can ship 
them to Europe through the numerous merchants who have 
their branch houses at the different camps, and who generally 
give an advance on such consignments if wanted. Fine 
diamonds (first water) are still keeping up their prices in spite 
of the immense finds of South Africa, In fact, the demand 
for fine diamonds far exceeds the supply ; it is only bad dia- 
monds that have gone down in price about 25 per cent. 

The health of the dry diggings is just the same as at the 
river ; only four months in the year is the place unhealthy, 
and is mostly fatal to the intemperate only. Eight months 
of the climate is delightful, and splendid for persons suffer- 
ing with pulmonary diseases. There are plenty of doctors 
and druggists at the mines. I insert an extract here from 


the Diamond News, published at Du Toit's Pan, December 
16, 1871. The unhealthy months are December, January, 
February, and March only. At the three camps mentioned 
there are about 50,000 inhabitants: 

" Health of the Fields.— As the death rate at the fields 
has lately been very much overstated by correspondents, we 
have taken the trouble to ascertain from the Sanitary In- 
spectors the number of interments this month. At Du Toit's 
Pan and Bulfontein, from the 1st to the 20th inclusive, 40; 
Colesburg Kopie, between the 6th and 16th instant, 18; the 
average number of deaths at the three camps being about 
four per diem, which is a very small percentage. Still, how- 
ever, there is a good deal of sickness, and every day, as the 
heat becomes intensified, parties are seen ' treking ' for their 
respective homes." 

The English Government have control of the diamond 
fields, and maintain good order. They have a force of six 
hundred cavalry in the district; they are called mounted 
police. Only one riot of any consequence has occurred at the 

I will now give my own experience and views as a dia- 
mond miner at the dry diggings. Upon my arrival at Du 
Toit's Pan I met two Americans, who, having landed at 
Capetown with but £5 between them, walked all the way to 
the mines, 700 miles. I immediately formed a partnership 
with them, and purchasing an outfit and a claim, turned the 
latter over to them to work; they to give me half they find, 
and I to furnish laborers and provisions. I formed several 
other companies on the same plan, some with English and 
others with Americans. For two months my income just 
covered my expenses. At the end of this time I closed up 
with my other companies and purchased a claim at De Been's 
New Rush, or Colesburg Kopie, for £50, and turned it over 
to the first two Americans who had walked from Capetown 
they to give me half the proceeds of the find. They have 
been finding every day since they commenced on this new 
claim, and have turned out over 150 diamonds, among them 
a ten carat, sixteen carat, forty-two carat, and an eighty-three 
and a half carat, the balance running down to a quarter 


carat, including two, four, five, seven, and eight carats ; and 
on January 1st, 18«, only one-third of the claim has been 
worked out ; so that my second venture has proved a success, 
when my first on the Vaal was a failure. As I stated before, 
my advice to persons thinking of going to the diamond 
fields is as follows : None should think of starting with le&s 
than §1,000 in gold. Take a sailing vessel from New York 
or Boston ; land either at Capetown or Fort Elizabeth, and 
leave enough money with some merchant to pay their fare 
home if they fail at the diamond fields in a year's trial. It is 
not necessary to purchase anything that they will need any- 
where else than at the diamond fields. By this means they 
will be rid of the trouble of carrying baggage, and can go up 
in the fast transports from Capetown or Port Elizabeth, in 
which they are allowed to carry only twenty pounds of bag- 
gage. Persons of more means can go to South Africa much 
quicker by steamer via England; it will take about forty- 
five days by this route ; by sailing vessel it takes from sixty 
to eighty days. 


Capetown.— Having determined to start, one of the first 
inquiries made by the intending digger will be as to the best 
port in South Africa to make for. I think I shall best furnish 
that information by giving a description of the various points 
of disembarkation. Capetown, from its geographical position 
its importance, and its being the seat of Government, I shall 
deal with first. Capetown is situated on the shores of Table 
Bay in lat. 34° 22" S, and long. 18° 24- E. By reference 
to a map of South Africa, it will be found that almost at the 
southern extremity of the Continent, and on its western side, 
is a peninsula indented on the east by False Bay, and on the 
west by Table Bay. At the southern point of this land is 
the famous Cape of Good Hope celebrated for its storms, and 
the doubling of which has been so great an anxiety to many 
a mariner. Capetown is to the westward of this cape, so pas- 


sengers who land at Table Bay will have no experience of the 
doubling? or tho sfnrma tk« i 1 • ^*«hiws 01 tne 

and ono of t . i i h «*o»« an excellent anchorage, 

and one of the handsomest sheets of water in the world It 

u t • , lrt o^ »>nii gioat iury, and m voa?»s rrr»n*> 

great reluetanoe shipowners allowed their vessels to visit this 
poit. The colonists, recognizino- the ncccssitv fm- ; m 
the harbor, took the opportunity of TSlS^STi 
the colony a I860 to commence extensive harbor \" -ks 

after £ Royal Highness had &J ffffj^ 
docks T^t I"' - e W ° rkS C ° ,lsist ° f breakwater and 

shelters the dock and the bay from north-westerly gales 
Docks cover ten and a-half acres, and the whole of ifwas 
hewn out of the solid rock. The entrance is 100 feet w Td e 
and twenty-four feet deep. The widest part is 5 1 fee and 
he length of the largest quay is 1,100 feet. The dock it s 
unnecessary to say, is of the greatest convenience to shin! 
pers and shipowners. Since its opening it has bee", weU 
patronized, and the revenue received from it give a first nil 
return for the expenditure incurred, which Lou'tstol^ 
on a rndbon pounds. In none of the British Colonic s t e 

in T tm Vat t0 I ?"*"? t0 ** "» «™ * ^ 

in Table Valley, and is completely inclosed on the cast south 

and west by a mountainous cordon, consisting of 
Peak Table Mountain, and a singular formation know,; 
Cape Lion, and which is supposed to be suggestive of I 
jesting Table Mountain, the highest of tK„> 3 £j 
feet above the level of the sea. It rises up from the vallev 

out nom the sky. From the sea, on afine day it is sinmikr Z 
nnposing "Under the shadow of Table Mountain- a *e 

colomsts themselves express it, is Capetown, the metropolis of 

tl J UC r\ ? wasfounded by VanRiebU in 165 tken 
by the Engbsh m 1796, restored again to the Batavian Gov 


eminent, and in 1803, at the peace of Amiens, it was given up 
to England once more, and has ever since been under her gov- 
ernment: of course it must be understood that with Cape- 
town the Cape Colony was also handed over. The colony, 
as I first mention it, was only a small patch of ground in 
Table Valley, but since that time its boundary has been ex- 
tended north to the Orange River, and east to the Great Kei 
and Indive, and covers an area of about 350,000 square miles. 
Hound and in Capetown the early Dutch settlers founded 
their houses; many of their descendants still live on the old 
farms, and while the town still shows evidence of the old 
style of Dutch architecture, it has some very handsome build- 
ings shops, and stores of modern designs, and which would 
not 'disgrace some of the wealthy capitals of Europe and 
America The population of the town is put down at be- 
tween thirty and forty thousand, while that of the whole 
colony is estimated by the census of 1805 at 496,381 souls; 
of these 181,592 are white or European, 81,598 Hottentot, 
100 530 Kaffir, 132,055 other colored. In Capetown there are 
but' few Kaffirs, a few more Hottentots or Mozambique*, 
while the Malay population probably number one-third of 
the inhabitants of the place. The Malays are frugal, cleanly, 
sober • they drink no spirituous liquors and make excellent 
servants. The Dutch element is the preponderating European 
one' in the town, while the energy, the enterprise, and the 
commercial reputation is sustained by the English and some 
Americans and a few of other nationalities. The town is 
laid out in blocks with a painful regularity (that is, the center 
of the town), while the houses and hovels of the poorer 
clashes nestle close under the slopes of the mountain. There arc 
several landing places in the harbor, and from the one known 
as the central wharf, there can be seen the splendid avenue 
of oaks known as the Government Gardens. These gardens 
are about a mile in length, having on one side the Botanical 
Gardens, which are elegantly laid out and wed stocked with 
the choicest plants, and kept in creditable order I acmg the 
Botanical Gardens, and on the opposite side of the avenue is 
the town residence of his Excellency the Governor. At the 
entrance to the garden is the most remarkable building m 



Capetown; it incloses the mnsenm and the library It is <v 
vast s mctur of an e , egant archUectural ^ « . 

style, but of winch the facade is still unfinished. On entering 

the building by the principal doorway, to which a large a„f 

handsome flight f steps lead you, the visitor finds hfmsef 

n a sort o vestibnle decorated with some pictures and st! 

Z i » "ft " the libriU '- V ' While the »"«um occupies 

the left wing of the building. In it can be found specimens 
giving r a natural history of the colony, and a very Z ZZ 
tion of birds beasts, etc. The library consists of 30 000 vol 
-lies of books, and some private rooms at the end of th 
library contain a very magnificent collection of works pre! 
sen ed to the colony by a previous governor, Sir Ge^eO^ 
ih s present is calculated to be worth £10,000-a royal <dft 
certamly Besides this building, there ar'e others, ^he 
center of the town, on a square known as the Parade i he 
Commercial Exchange. Then we have the South A rican 
College the Somerset Hospital, Railway Station, Gas HouT 
Lank Buildings, Public Offices, Supreme Court, Cathedral' 
Parliament House, and a number of other institutes too nu 
merous here to mention. Strange to say, there i no Lt r 
in the town, although the community is very fo„d of theatn 
ca entertainments. Some years ago a Mr. Sefton Parry td 
a company here for about three years, and made a handso ne 
fortune He has now the Holborn Theater, one of the n ^ 
e t a„d handsomest in London. Behind the town and tow- 
ard the mountains are the residences of the merchants 
rounded by vineyards and fruit gardens. Tm part J X 
town is known as "The Gardens," and the resident are , en 
era ly occupied by the Dutch or Africanders. These bouses 
nestling among the foliage, the light patches of green 2 £ 
yarc Is, the darker green of the oak, with the still darker green 
of the fir plantation, give a back-ground to Capetown from 
a [ seaward point of view, both interesting and Ueshing 
the eye of the passenger after a long voyage. The English 
merchant, true to the traditions he brings with him from Ms 
native land, has his country residence, and this is d 1 ei 
situated at Mowbray, Kondebosch, Clai'emont, or WynW 
villages respectively at three miles, five miles, six miL, and 





eight miles from Capetown. They are reached either by rail 
or road, both of which skirt round the slope of the mountain 
amid avenues of trees and through vineyards and tastefully- 
arranged fruit and flower gardens. There are no spots I 
know of more desirable for residences than these places, per- 
fectly sheltered by the forests of trees from the wind, the 
heat,' and the sun. They are in winter protected from the 
heavy northerly gales, and in summer from the glaring, daz- 
zling heat, so painful in the city. What the hills are to the 
East Indian merchant, these spots are to the merchants of 


The scenery is charming, but I have no time to give descrip- 
tions of scenery , my duty is to provide stern facts for the 
guidance of the emigrants. I must not forget, however, to 
mention that there are marine residences at Sea Point ; this 
is the skirting of the Lion's Hill, and the villas have a view 
seaward, and a tramway, which runs every hour in the day, 
making these residences getatable and convenient. Before I 
leave Capetown I will mention that Parliament meets here an- 
nually. The Parliament consists of two representative bodies 
called the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly. 
The former is known as the upper and the latter as the lower 
House. The Council consists of twenty-one members elected 
for ten years ; the House of Assembly of sixty-six members 
who are elected for five years. The session is supposed to 
last for fifty days, and for that number of days the members 
of the Assembly are allowed £1 per day, and an extra allow- 
ance of Is. per mile for traveling expenses. The sessions 
last, however, much more than fifty days, and the debates are 
generally very earnest and exciting, although they are not so 
far advanced as Australia, where horsewhipping sometimes 
occurs during debate, or in America, where bowie knives and 
revolvers are not entirely ignored. The environs of Cape- 
town are celebrated for Cape wine, and really to know what 
wine is produced in the country one must visit the Cape. I 
wonder how much colonial wine we drink at home fondly be? 
lieving it is genuine Oporto or Madeira ? Cape wine has long 
been a standing joke in the European and American markets, 
but that it has been allowed to remain so can only be explained 


by our gullability and ignorance. At Constantia, for instance, 
which is only half an hour's drive from the Wynberg rail- 
way station, and one of the prettiest drives one can well 
imagine, the wine vaults are splendid. Of course no one 
visits Capetown without calling at Constantia and going over 
the cellars of the Van Beenans and Cloetes. The stranger 
will find it difficult to believe that the choice wines which 
are presented to him are of colonial manufacture. The prices 
are most moderate and the flavor delicious. The variety of 
wines manufactured is very large. There are hock, sherry, 
port, Burgundy, and various other wines, while, on the other 
hand, the Cape brandy, which is manufactured in immense 
quantities, is as nauseous as can he well conceived. It is, 
however, universally drank among the agriculturists and 
large numbers of other colonists. Constantia, however, is 
only a very small part of the wine-producing country. In 
the valleys and plains up to fifty miles away from Capetown 
there are vineyards and wine farms. In the midst of them 
we have villages — they could almost be called towns consid- 
ering their populations — such as Paarl, Wellington, Ilellen- 
bosch, Somerset West, and other places. They are reached 
by a line of railway from Capetown, and this is the longest 
line of railway in the colony (there are no lines in the colony 
but those in the neighborhood of Capetown), extending, as it 
does, to Wellington, a distance of fifty-two miles. In these 
localities, in addition to the vinelands, considerable quantities 
of excellent grain are produced. 

I will, just before leaving Capetown and neighborhood, point 
out that in one of the nooks of False Bay is Simon's Bay, the 
most perfectly-sheltered bay in the colony. Simon's Bay is the 
Cape naval station, and is about twenty-three miles from Cape- 
town and eleven miles from Cape Point. The town is a small 
one. There is a patent slip, and vessels are easily supplied from 
the well-stocked stores of the town. The harbor arrangements 
of Capetown are such that passengers have every facility for 
landing, and there is a first-class transport service between 
Capetown and the diamond fields. The horse wagons of the 
Transfer Company are large, comfortable, and roomy. They 
carry twelve passengers and are dispatched once a week each 


way. The distance is, as I have already stated, over 700 
miles, but the journey is accomplished in nine clays by these 
wagons, which keep their time very punctually ; all who have 
traveled by them speak in the highest terms of this mode of 
conveyance. There is nothing like it elsewhere in this col- 
ony or Natal. The journey is so arranged that persons are 
allowed certain hours for sleep and meals at the various hotels 
along the road, and the Company, to prevent passengers be- 
ing Imposed upon, have a regular scale of charge with the 
hotel keepers. The fare by the wagons is £12 for the whole 
journey. Those who do not care about being a little longer 
on the road can avail themselves of other conveyances. 
Messrs. Steytler <fc Steytler take passengers through for £10 
by bullock "wagon, and this charge includes provisions for the 
road. This firm also dispatches express carts, and have wag- 
ons cno-aged in carrying goods. In fact, the digger will find 
at Capetown every facility for his conveyance to the diamond 
fields and in no other part of the colony is there a regular 
system of transport. The road throughout is a good one, as 
a proof of which I may mention that his Excellency Sir P. 
E. Wodchousc, the late governor of the colony, traversed 
the road between Wellington and the Orange River in an 
American spider, occupying only a period of eight days. 


Port Elizabeth, ahout 500 miles from Capetown, on the 
Indian Ocean, has a population of over 12,000 inhabitants, 
about three-fourths of whom are European. The town is 
built principally under a bluff, and one long street running 
parallel with the shore, two miles in length, contains all the 
business houses, hotels, some residences, and churches. On 
the top of this bluff are most of the private residences, some 
churches, a fine botanical garden and hotel. The houses are 
principally built of brick and stone ; very few wooden struc- 







tures, on account of the scarcity of that article. Some of the 
buildings, such as the Town Hall, Custom House, Grey Insti- 
tute, and several of the stores, would grace any city in the 
world. There is a much larger business carried on at Port 
Elizabeth than at Capetown. Their advantageous geograph- 
ical position enables them to control all the interior trade 
of the eastern province of the Colony even as far as the Free 
State. The principal shipments are wool, of which Port 
Elizabeth shipped over 40,000,000 pounds in IS 70. Algoa 
Bay, upon which Port Elizabeth is situated, is not much 
better than an open roadstead, and during the prevalence of 
certain winds it is quite dangerous, if vessels- do not drop 
both their anchors and be ready to sail at a moment's notice. 
Most of the year, however, the harbor is quite safe, and they 
are building a wharf now that will facilitate the landing of 
cargo and passengers, which at present has to be done by 
surf boats. The merchants of Port Elizabeth have shown 
more enterprise than those of Capetown generally, but they 
have not yet started a transport company to the mines, but 
will probably do so soon. 

The distance to Pniel via Craddock, Colesburg, and 
Jacobsdahl is 428 miles. There are two first-class hotels at 
Elizabeth, that charge 105. per day, and about live second 
and third class, that charge from 4s. to Is. for board and 
lodo-in<>\ There are several boarding-houses, also, that charge 
about £5 a month for regular boarders. At the Town Hall 
there is a fine library, which is free to strangers. There are 
generally about twenty ships, steamers, barks, brigs, and 
schooners in the harbor, bound for England principally, and 
coastwise. Messrs. Taylor, Kemp & Co, American mer- 
chants, run a line of clippers from this place to Boston ; and 
once in a while some other firms load a vessel with wool and 
skins, and send her to Boston or New York. 

From Port Elizabeth to Pniel the roads were naturally 
good, and they are being improved every day. At most of 
the rivers there are fine iron or stone bridges built, and where 
there are none, there are large wagon pouts or ferries. On 
the Orange River, on this route, a bridge will shortly be built 
that will enable wagons to cross that stream at all seasons ol 


the year. During the rainy season, wagons are frequently 
delayed for days at swollen streams, that at other seasons 
of the year are perfectly dry. It would not pay to have 
either a pont or bridge at these places at present. 

The shortest route to the diamond fields from Port Eliza- 
beth is via Craddock, Colesburg, Faursmith, and Jacobsdahl 
to Pniel. A post-cart runs all the way from Port Elizabeth 
to Pniel twice a week ; but it runs day and night, and the 
carts are generally uncovered, or open and uncomfortable. 
But very few persons can stand the trip at once, and have to 
lie over half way, and run the risk of getting a seat in the 
next post-cart. There are plenty of ox teams going up from 
Port Elizabeth, but it takes them about twenty days at the 
best of seasons to make the trip. It is pretty certain that a 
transport company will be started to carry passengers with 
rapidity and comfort to the diamond mines. The duties on 
arms and ammunition are the same as at Capetown, viz., 
£1 a barrel for the gun, 6d, per lb. for powder, and 10 per 
cent, ad valorem on caps and lead ; cartridges at the same 
ratio. There are duties on all other articles that are brought 
from foreign countries, excepting personal property. 

Durbau, Port Natal, is 500 miles to the eastward of Port 
Elizabeth, and is a very pretty and substantially-built town 
of about 3,500 inhabitants, chiefly European. Port Natal, 
the harbor, is nearly land-locked, and is one of the most pic- 
turesque harbors in South Africa, and would be one of the 
best if the bar at the entrance was not so changeable. Some- 
times there are ten ind sometimes twenty feet of water on 
this bar. A contractor undertook to build a breakwater on 
the opposite side of the entrance to the city, from a bluff 
that rises to the height of 200 feet. It was built out sev- 
eral hundred yards, when it was found that it was on the 
wrong side of the entrance. It had then cost £60,000, and 
was doing more harm than good. Now they have started a 
pier from the other side, which may prove successful. In 
the meantime, large vessels have to remain outside, and un- 
load and load by means of lighters. There are generally 
from ten to twenty vessels in the harbor. The port is about 
three miles from Durbau, and is connected with it by a rail- 


road, the cars of which run every hour. This railroad has 
been extended to the River Umgani, three miles off, where 
the quarries are from which the stone is taken to build the 
pier or breakwater with. Durbau is situated on the borders 
of the bay, on a sandy plain that extends from the sea- 
shore six miles to a line of hills called the Berea, which run 
parallel with the coast. The surrounding country is thickly 
tilled with a large underbrush and small thorn trees. The 
city and Berea are connected by a fine macadamized road of 
four miles, made at a cost of £20,000. The main street of 
Durbau, however, is not paved, and it is not unusual to see 
ox wagons stick in the sand, and they have to be partly 
unloaded before they can be moved, or else to hitch on 
another team of sixteen oxen (making thirty-two in all) to 
extricate it. 

On the Berea most of the merchants reside, some of whom 
have very fine residences on its slopes, surrounded by lux- 
uriant vegetation, including all kinds of tropical fruits and 
flowers. The climate is fine and particularly healthy. The 
main street of Durbau presents a very fine appearance ; the 
houses are chiefly built of brick or stone. There are at 
least a dozen hotels, that charge from 4s. to 105. per day. 
The post-cart runs every day to Pietermaritzburg, sixty miles 
inland, carrying passengers. Pietermaritzburg is the capital 
of the Colony of Natal, and contains about 3,500 inhabitants. 
It is called a city, because the Bishop of the Church of Eng- 
land (Bishop Colenso) resides there. There are some very 
fine buildings in Pietermaritzburg, and the new State House 
would be an ornament to any city in the world. This is the 
seat of government, which is represented by a Lieutenant- 
Governor and his Cabinet, appointed by the Crown, and the 
Legislative Assembly, elected by the colonists. There are 
about 17,000 white people in Natal, and the area of the 
colony is about 17,000 square miles. It abounds in rivers, 
which run from the Drakenburg mountains to the sea, a dis- 
tance generally of about 200 miles. These mountains rise to 
an elevation of 0,000 feet, and are frecpiently snow-clad. 
There is a gradual slope to the sea-coast. On these slopes 
are grown corn, cotton, wheat, rye, oats, apples, peaches, 



plums, and melons. Along the coast, and as far back as say- 
twenty miles, coffee and sugar are grown to a great extent ; 
also oranges, bananas, and pineapples. American emigration 
is sought for, and Americans are treated with consideration 
and kindness. There are several transport wagons running 
from Pietermaritzburg to the diamond fields. The roads 
are naturally line, and if miners desire to purchase their own 
team, they can always find plenty of oxen and wagons on the 
market square on Saturdays, or they can have a wagon made 
to suit them by one of the several wagon-makers, or they can 
purchase their oxen or mules from the surrounding farmers. 
Oxen are sold at £4 a head, and mules and horses from £8 
to £10 a head. Large wagons with covers are from £80 to 
£100 each. It is necessary to have at least fourteen oxen ; 
most wagons have sixteen. Spring wagons, to be drawn by 
bix or eight mules, are made for £80. At the auction sales, 
second-hand wagons are frequently sold for half the above 
prices. Everything else that a miner requires can be pur- 
chased at Durbau or Pietermaritzburg. The duty on fire- 
arms is 10s. a barrel, and on cartridges the same as at Cape- 
town and Port Elizabeth. Gunpowder is not allowed to be 
imported except by the Government, from whom it can be 
purchased. One thousand cartridges are allowed to be 
brought in for each breech-loader that is imported ; of course, 
duty is charged. 

A route to the diamond fields will soon be opened from 
another sea-port (Delagoa Bay), described in another chapter. 
It is also the nearest port to the gold mines of the Limpopo 
and Zambesi Rivers and their tributaries. 


There are several ways of getting to the above South Afri- 
can ports from America. Isaac Taylor & Co., No. 8 Kilby 
Street, Boston, and No. 40 Broadway, New York, have a line 
of vessels running to Port Elizabeth to their branch house 
there (Messrs. Taylor, Kemp & Co.) Sometimes they send 


their vessels to Capetown to Messrs. G. S. Holmes & Co., 
American merchants. Both of the above firms are in first- 
class standing, and the members of the firms are genial and 
kind-hearted gentlemen, and always glad to see Americans 
and forward their interests. Most vessels for South African 
ports are despatched from Boston, some from New York, 
and a few from Baltimore. Pickering, Winslow & Co., of B<5s- 
ton, frequently load a vessel for South Africa; Messrs. S. L. 
Merchant & Co., shipping merchants at New York, Boston 
and Baltimore, are always posted about the sailing of African 
vessels, and will gladly furnish any information in their power 
to intending emigrants. The passage to any of the above 
ports in Africa is generally made in about sixty or seventy 
days, and the fare, first-class, is £30, and second-class £20 ; 
most of the vessels from America have good cabins and give 
good fare. There are two small steamers running from Cape- 
town to Natal, stopping at Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth. The 
fare to Port Elizabeth on these steamers is £6 6s., and through 
to Natal £10. Second-class is about two-thirds of the above 

Another way to get to Africa is to go by way of England ; 
the passage to England by steamer is made in from ten to 
fifteen days, and the fare, first-class, ranges from £15 to £25, 
and second or steerage from £0 to £10. On the sailing ves- 
sels the fare is much lower, and it takes from fifteen to thirty 
days to make the passage. At Liverpool, most all the Am- 
ericans stop at the Washington Hotel, just opposite the Lon- 
don railway station; the charge is about 10s. per day. There 
are other hotels that range from 4,9. to 6*. a day for board 
and lodging. 

If, in the event of a vessel not being up for South Africa 
at Liverpool, parties can always be sure of finding at least 
half a dozen up at London. The fare from Liverpool to Lon- 
don is, first-class, 30s., second, 2 0.s\, and third, about 10$. ; it is 
two hundred miles and is made in less than five hours. Board 
can be obtained in London at from 4,9. to 20s. a day, the lat- 
ter at the Charing Cross and Langham Hotels at the West 
End, and the former in the city, near the Bank of England. 
There are two good hotels that I have tried in tLe city, and 


where a great many Americans, chiefly business men, stop at; 
one is the Cathedral Hotel, St. Paul's Churchyard, and the 
other is FauFs Hotel, No. 7 King Street, Cheapside ; the 
charge at this latter hotel is from 2s. to 5s. a night for a 
room ; 25. for breakfast and 25. for dinner if you dine at the 
house, or you can dine at the numerous restaurants that are 
to be found throughout London. Faul's Hotel is convenient 
to the Bank of England and the business houses of the city, 
from where the different outfits are to be purchased. There 
are two regular lines of steamers from England to South Af- 
rica. The Union Line carry the royal mails, and leave Ply- 
mouth on the 10th and 25th of each month, carrying passen- 
gers to Capetown and Port Elizabeth, and forward them by 
small steamers to Port Natal. The office is No. 3 East In- 
dia Chambers, Leadenhall Street, London, where tickets can 
be purchased, including railway fare from London to Ply- 
mouth ; it takes about thirty-two days to make the run to 
Capetown, where they remain a few days, and then go on to 
Port Elizabeth (in about forty-eight hours), where theyreship 
to Port Natal. First-class fare from England to Capetown 
is usually £42, second-class fare is £30. The fares are lower 
than that, when there are any opposition steamers on the 
route, and that leave about the same time that they do ; this 
line set a good table, and have excellent sleeping accommo- 

The Good Hope Line have about five steamers now, and 
leave Victoria Docks, London, about once a month, for Cape- 
town, Algoa Bay, and through to Natal ; their vessels are 
large, and give very good food, and have good sleeping ac- 
commodation. They take about thirty-five days to Cape- 
town, and their fare is about £5 less than the Union Line for 
each class. Their office is at No. 117 Leadenhall Street, Lon- 
don. Once in a while there are outside steamers put up for 
South Africa, which charge still less than the above lines. 
There are at least half a dozen lines of clippers that run to 
the different South African ports from London : among them 
the Aberdeen Line, one of whose vessels leaves St. Katherine's 
Dock, London, for Natal once a month, and they make their 
passage in from sixty to eighty days. They charge £30 first- 


class fare, and £16 second-class or steerage : the latter have 
to find their own bedding, and it is advisable for them to take 
a few extra stores, such as captain's biscuits, preserved salmon 
and sardines, ground coffee, sugar, and some preserved fruits. 
Some of the other lines run only to Capetown and Port Eliza- 
beth, and the fare is the same to each of these ports as to 


The Bay of Lorenzo Marquez, or Delagoa Bay, is situated 
in lat. 26° S. and long, 32° 40" E. The town' of the same 


name is one and a-half miles long and a quarter of a mile 
broad, containing 37 houses with flat roofs and 127 thatched 
ones. The population numbers 192 whites and 775 colored 
people. * 

The harbor is five miles long and three and a-half miles 
broad in its broadest place. There are two channels in it, 
called North and South. The southern channel is accessible 
to vessels of the largest tonnage ; small vessels may tack 
about in any part of the harbor. 

The natural beauty of Lorenzo Marquez can hardly be de- 
scribed ; and, regarding the safety of vessels, easy entrance to 
the bay and anchorage, the harbor is superior to all others of 
South Africa. 

The following is a guide to vessels entering the bay : when 
approaching Iujak Island, coming from south, avoid the sand- 
banks near that island ; take Point Vermilion during day 
time, and run along the channel marked in the map; avoid 
coming too near Shemna Island on account of the sandbanks, 
which stretch some distance into the bay ; when arrived at 
two and a-half miles from Point Vermilion, keep to the south- 
west, and afterward right on toward the anchorage, which 
is just in front of the town. 

The greater part of the present trade is with the natives, 
bringing ivory, ostrich feathers, rhinoceros horns, hippopot- 
amus teeth, wax, urzella, etc., for sale or barter. The Portu- 
guese Government intend to reopen the roads to the Trans- 


vaal immediately, to bring thereby the Yaal River diamond 
■fields, the Tati gold fields, and the considerable Transvaal 
produce within easy reach. Lorenzo Marqnez, will, without 
doubt, become, within a short period, the key to the rich 
mines and products of interior Africa. See routes laid down 
on map. 

The bay abounds with whales, the rivers with hippopotami 
(sea cows) ; the soil of the district is very fertile, and fit for 
the cultivation of coffee, cotton, rice, tobacco, indigo — in fact, 
for all that the Old and New Worlds produce. 

In the map the gold region is laid down, though it has 
always been known that it exists in these parts, be- 
sides copper, iron, and coal ; the exact spot has only lately 
been discovered, and it requires only enterprise to enrich 
people and country. 

Five rivers run into the bay, of which two, L 6.,Uzutu and 
Manissa, are to Some extent navigable. 

The climate on the immediate coast is healthy, with the ex- 
ception of three months in the year, namely, January, Feb- 
ruary, and March, when it happens that some of the inhabit- 
ants get low fever ; but since the same takes place in Natal, 
and that is considered healthy, it is not worth taking notice 
of, and only one or two miles from the coast, the climate is 
excellent. The lands in the district are well watered and 
wooded, the wood being of valuable kinds. 

A Mr. McCorkandale, who has been the President of the 
Transvaal Republic's right-hand man, and who is the only 
live man that I have seen in South Africa, has been to Eng- 
land to try and procure a sea-port on Injack Island for the 
Transvaal Republic, that the British Government have taken 
possession of. I learn that he has succeeded in gaining the 
consent of the Government, and has been trying to raise 
capital to open the port and the river. This river, with a 
little dredging, can be opened as far as the Bembo Mount- 
ains, so that a Mississippi-built steamer could run thus far at 
all seasons of the year. At the foot of the mountains, on the 
highlands, he proposes to start a town that will be in a 
healthy location. It is about six hours' run from the island 
to this location, and could be run at all seasons without 



danger of catching the fever among the swamps. From 
McCorkandale's proposed town a road will run in a north- 
west direction to New Scotland, among the Drakenburo-s, 
and from thence branch off north and south into the interior 
of the Transvaal Republic. New Scotland is already settled, 
and quite a number of farms are under successful cultiva- 
tion. There are also several stores in the district ; and now, 
if McCorkandale succeeds in getting up this sea-port and 
line of steamboats, an immense trade will spring up with the 
interior and foreign countries, and all the Transvaalers would 
ship their wool by this route. It is obvious what importance 
is in store for the Bay of Lorenzo Marquez. Coal and gold 
fields lay in easy distance ; and should the latter prove to 
extend their auriferous stratas as far as Lobombo, perhaps 
(interrupted by this volcanic mountain range) somewhat 
farther toward south-east, and should the River Manissa 
prove navigable as high up as the sharp bend toward south- 
west, the distance would be reduced to an insignificant mini- 
mum. Besides, the district Lydemburg is not at all poorly 
provided with other useful minerals, as copper, iron, and, 
very probably, lead. Should the climate of the immediate 
coast be considered too unhealthy, however, it is no more so 
than Natal. Very soon an elevated tract of land near Lo- 
bombo will be reached in less than two days. A railroad might 
be constructed over the well-wooded country, following the 
strike of the auriferous rocks toward the north-west, as far 
as Tati gold fields, being 370 miles (Engl, naut.) distant in a 
straight line from Lorenzo Marquez. No mountain range 
would be in the way for the construction of this railroad. 

Proposal of law published according to Article 12 of the 
fundamental law, and according to Article 1G of resolution 
of the Volksraad, dated 21st December,, 1 870 : 

Whereas it has been found necessary to make such regulations that, 
the first discoverer of gold fields in the South African Republic shall 
be entitled to reward, the following is hereby enacted : 

Art. 1. — Bona fide finders of gold in this Republic must make such 
discovery known, and prove it by producing a sample of not less than 
two ounces in weight of the gold to the magistrate, or any other, for 
the occasion nominated, qualified official in the district where the gold 
has been found ; and have to request that a piece of ground of ten 


miles square be marked out, whose middle point must be the place 
or spot where the gold was found, and which request has to be reg- 

Art. 2. — To the discoverer of a gold-bearing quartz reef, on Govern- 
ment ground or uninspected grounds, within the limits of this State, 
shall be granted right for a certain time to search on half a mile 
square; and in case alluvial gold is found, the discoverer has alright 
to a quarter mile square.. Both may afterward form the middle point 
of gold fields of ten miles square. 

Art. 3.— The State's President shall, after satisfactory proof of before- 
mentioned discovery has been produced, grant a miner's right for 
twelve months. 

, Art. 4. — When the miner's right, mentioned in foregoing article, 
has expired, the miner or discoverer can select a further exploration 
right of GOO by 750 feet, from a quartz reef or alluvial gold ground, and 
the continual exploration right of 250 feet square, both subject to regu- 
lations to be made hereafter. 

Art. 5. — On a gold field where there exists a continued exploration 
right, only a further right for search for a certain time can be granted. 

Art. G. — When a gold field of ten miles square has been marked out, 
everyone who wishes to dig for gold must provide himself with a 
miner's license. 

Art. 7. — Proprietors of private property on which gold is found 
have the right to mine for gold without license on their own grounds, 
and have the right to prevent others to dig for gold on their lands. 

Art. 8. — For a miner's license shall be paid one pound sterling, and 
be in force during one year. 

Art. 9.— An official appointed by Government shall mark out the 
ground and place the beacons. 

Art. 10.— The Executive Council shall from time to time frame 
further regulations upon this subject. 

Art. 11. — Any person, with the exception of proprietors of gold- 
bearing ground, who shall be found gold-digging without license, or 
refuses to present his license to the appointed official when requested 
to do so, shall be punished with money fine or imprisonment. 

Art. 12.— The export duty on gold shall hereafter be regulated. 


No Date 

License is hereby granted to to dig and 

search for gold on government ground on the gold fields situated in 
the district pointed out by authorized Government 

official, and on private property, with the permission of the proprietor. 

This license is in force during one year, and has to be presented upon 
request to the authorized official. Signature 




£500 for discovery of a gold field which yields 500 ounces of gold a 
month during twelve months. 

£750 for discovery of a gold field which yields from 500 to 1,000 
ounces as above. 

£1,000 for discovery of a gold field which yields 1,000 ounces or 
more, as above. 

Art. 13. This law shall be in force according to Art. G9 of the funda- 
mental law. 

Government's Office, Pretoria, 30th January, 1871. 

(Per order.) 

B. C. E. Proes, Government Secretary. 



How much romance is connected with the bright, invincible, 
nonpareil adamant, the most refulgent and the most precious 
of gems — the diamond ! And yet it consists solely of the 
elementary substance, carbon, crystallized and in its greatest 
purity. Although it can not be electrified by heat, it becomes 
electric by friction. Its specific gravity is about 3.6. Its 
crystals have often curvilinear faces and edges, but its 
primary form is a regular octahedron. Its lamellar structure 
and peculiar conformation, together with its weight, form 
the chief means of distinguishing it from the many stones 
which at first sight appear similar. The diamond is the 
king of the mineral kingdom, while rubies, sapphires, et hoc 
genus, form only the aristocracy. A few of the nobility and 
many of the plebeian orders seem to claim relationship w r ith 
the monarch ; but however plausible the pretensions of a 
topaz or a rock crystal may seem at first sight, when weighed 
in the balance they are found wanting. Many people imagine 
'that diamonds ouudit to be colorless like water; but although 
they are commonly so, yet from a foreign intermixture they 
are sometimes white, green, yellow, gray, brown, and more 
rarely red, black, orange, and blue. Ileal gems have often 
been mistaken for 

"Faux brillians. et morceaux de verre," 

and there are extraordinary tales on record of diamonds 



whose value has been unrecognized. The thieves who stole 
the Countess of Ellesmere's jewels, finding the gems care- 
lessly wrapped up, imagined that the very finest stones were 
mere glass ornaments " u orn by player folks," and the Jew 
to whom they were offered for sale was of the same opinion. 
The great Sanci diamond, worn at the battle of Nancy by 
Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was picked up on the field 
by a Swiss mercenary, who sold it for Is. 8d. to a priest, and 
the latter, in his turn, disposed of it for 2s. Qd. Similar 
stories are told of other great diamonds, and even at the 
present day it is frequently found no easy task to distinguish 
a real brilliant from an imitation. In the be^innino- of 1854. 
an English gentleman was robbed of seven brilliants, and 
advertised them in the Times, besides leaving no other means 
of discovery untried, lie heard nothing of them till the fol- 
lowing February, when they were returned to him by a clerk 
who had bought a tin box containing them for a pot of beer. 
He had worn the finest for months in a scarf-pin, and the 
jeweler who set it, as well as his friends and himself, were 
under the impression that it was only a " pretty bit of glass." 
But books could be filled with anecdotes about diamonds 
and romances have been connected witli them from the time 
when their possession first began to create envy and blood- 
shed in India until a revolution was hastened in France by 
the famous diamond necklace of Marie Antoinette. Space 
will only permit us to pass in review before our readers some 
of the greatest diamonds of the world, an 1 their legends, 
and then it will be desirable to refer to the regions where 
they are found, with the view of proving that the geol- 
ogy of South Africa is "similar to that of other countries 
where gold and diamonds exist.* The history of their dis- 
covery in South Africa will follow, and we hope to give some 
interesting information regarding the Cape of Good IIopw 
Fields and the gems that have been found on them, as well 
as to place before our readers reliable information regarding 

* Mr. Emmanuel is forced publicly to admit that diamonds have been found in 
South Africa, but couples the tardy acknowledgment with an absurd statement (prob- 
ably based upon Mr. Gregory's information) that the country in which they are found 
is not geologically " diamondiferous." 




their value and the means of ascertaining their identity. 
It is well known that the largest reputed diamond in the 
world was found in Brazil, and belongs to the House of 
Braganza. It weighs 1,080* carats (nearly eleven ounces), and 
was found in 1808 by a negro, who was wise enough to solicit 
a personal interview with Don John of Portugal. The issue 
of tins was that the Regent granted him an escort, under 
which the negro shortly returned, bringing the great diamond, 
which looked like a darkish yellow pebble, kidney-shaped, 
and oblong — about the size of a pullet's egg. The Brazilian 
jewelers valued it at three hundred million pounds sterling, 
and advised its being left rough and unpolished. The finder 
obtained his liberty and a pension. There are doubts as to 
whether or not this gem is really a diamond, and it is sus- 
pected that it may be only a colorless topaz. 

The Koh-i-noor (Mountain of Light), was originally an im- 
mense diamond weighing 793 carats, and was a source of 
war and misfortune in India for more than a thousand years. 
According to Hindoo tradition, it was found in a Golconda 
mine, and first belonged to the god "Krischnu," from whose 
idol it was stolen by a wild Delhi chief, who wore it ostenta- 
tiously in his hat. From this spoiler Ala el Din seized the 
prey, and eventually, in 1520, the diamond came into the 
possession of the Moguls. The great Aurungzebe resolved 
to have it polished, but this task was very unskillfully per- 
formed. According to Dr. Behe (paper read before the 
British Association, 1851), "There was found at the capture 
of Coochan, among the jewels of the harem of Reeza Kooli 
Khan, a large diamond slab, supposed to have been broken 
from one side of the Koh-i-noor. It weighed about 130 carats, 
and one part of its superfices corresponded exactly witli one 
side of the Koh-i-noor." After the Koh-i-noor had belonged 
successively to the Bahmani, Khilji, Lodi, and Mogul kings, 
it came, in 1739, into the hands of Nadir Shah, who called 
it by its present name. From him it went into the posses- 
sion of the Abdali monarchs of Afghanistan, the last of whom 
(Shah Sujah) was forced to present it to Kunjeet Singh, the 

* Emmanuel, in his work on diamonds, says that it weighs 1,880 carats, but all 
the other authorities consulted state the weight given in the text. 


Lion of the Punjaub. On the annexation of this territory 
and the abdication of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh in 1849, 
it became the property of Queen Victoria, and the principal 
crown jewel of the British Empire. The farther this stone 
was cut into the harder it seemed to be, and thirty-five days 
were devoted to the operation. It is now a beautiful rose-cut 
brilliant weighing lOOy 1 ^- carats, valued at £120,664. 

In the year 1760 a diamond weighing 367 carats was found 
at Landak, in the Island of Borneo. The news of its dis- 
covery was the signal for a war furiously waged for upward 
of twenty years between two of the native tribes. Eventual- 
ly the diamond remained in the possession of its first owner, 
the Rajah of Mattam, who so superstitiously believed that 
the fortunes of his house depended upon its possession, that 
he refused to sell it to the Dutch for a couple of gun-boats 
and a quarter million of dollars in specie. The Orloff dia- 
mond (194J carats), which belongs to the Russian Crown, 
was found by an Indian, who made it form the eye of a 
popular idol. It is said that a Frenchman who coveted this 
valuable optic became a pagan priest, and thus gained the 
opportunity of stealing it. He then sold it in Malabar for 
£2,800. After many adventures it was purchased in 1775 
by the Empress Catharine of Russia from the Armenian 
SchafFras for £90,000 in cash, an annuity of £4,000, and a 
patent of nobility. It is now placed in the Imperial scepter 
of Russia. The Pitt diamond, found in India (136$ carats), 
bolonged to the French Crown, and was worn by the Empress 
Eugenie at her marriage. The Right Hon. William Pitt, 
Governor of Fort St. George, purchased it for £12,500, 
and it was sold to the Regent Duke of Orleans in 1717 for 
£135,000, while in 1791 a commission of jewelers valued it 
at £500,000. Louis the Sixteenth wore it in his hat at his 
coronation, and Napoleon the First fixed it in the pommel of 
his sword. At the battle of Waterloo it was seized by the 

The Star of the South, which weighed in the rough 254 
carats, was found by a negro in Brazil in 1853. It was 
reduced by cutting to 125 carats, and belongs to the famous 
diamond-cutter, Costar, of Amsterdam. The Maximilian 


diamond, owned by the Austrian Royal Family, is of a yellow 
color, and rose cut. It was originally in the hands of the 
Medici, and came to its present owners through the Grand 
Duke of Tuscany. It weighs 139 J carats, and is valued at 

No gem is more pure or owns a more romantic legend than 
the Sanci diamond (almond shape, weight 53-|- carats), wdiich 
originally belonged to an Eastern merchant, who sold it to 
Charles the Bold of Burgundy. After his death, at the battle 
of Nancy, in 1475, it was picked up on the field and sold first 
for Is. Scl and then for half-a crown. After this, it passed 
through a number of adventures, till it came into the posses- 
sion of Antonio, King of Portugal. It was first pledged to 
a French gentleman, named De Sanci, for 40,000 francs, and 
subsequently sold to him for one hundred thousand. A de- 
scendant of this man confided it to the care of a servant, who 
mysteriously disappeared ; but his master was confident that 
he had been faithful, and caused a strict search to be made, 
which resulted in the diamond being found in the stomach of 
the murdered man. The Baron de Sanci afterward disposed 
of this jewel to James the Second, and it was sold to the 
French Court by that monarch for £25,000. It was subse- 
quently in the possession of the Spanish Prince of Peace, 
Godoy, and was sold by him to Prince Demidoff. It was 
recently purchased by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy for £20,000. 

The Imperial Family of Russia not only owns the Orloff 
diamond, but one which has been valued at £369,800. 
Holland possesses a modest conical-shaped gem worth 
£10,368. But the Persian Court outshines most European 
ones in its display of jewelry. Two celebrated stones owned 
by the Shah are the " Sea of Glory," and the " Mountain 
of Light," valued at £145,000 and £34,848 respectively. 
The Pigott diamond was brought to England by Earl Pigott, 
Governor-General of India, weighs 82j carats, and was 
disposed of by lottery for £30,000. It w T as subsequently 
bought by Rundell and Bridge for £6,000, and sold by them 
to the Pasha of Egypt for £30,000. A beautiful green 
diamond weighing 48-^ carats, is to be seen at Dresden, and 
there is a fine red diamond of 10 carats which cost the 


Emperor Paul of Russia 100,000 roubles. A Loudon mer- 
chant named Dresden* owned a beautiful drop-shaped 
brilliant weighing 764- carats ; and one of the marriage 
presents made by Napoleon the Third to Eugenic was a 
magnificent brilliant weighing 51 carats. The Nassak 
diamond (78f carats) was taken by the Marquis of Hastings 
at the conquest of the Deccan, and is now owned by the 
Marquis of Westminster. 

The celebrated diamond known as "The Hope" is of 
a most brilliant sapphire blue color, weighs 44|- carats, 
and was exhibited in London during 1851. For a gem 
of the same hue, weighing 29-J carats, George the Fourth 
paid £22,000. The former of these blue diamonds was 
owned by the late eccentric and celebrated Philip Hope, 
Esq., whose wonderful collection of precious stones was a 
fine gathering of specimens in various states and of different 
colors. In order to show what great varieties of diamonds 
exist, it is only necessary to catalogue this collection. In it 
there were brilliants jet black, very fine topaz color, besides 
some of the deepest ruby pallais hue, lemon, cymophane 
(green and orange), chrysolite, beautiful light green, aqua- 
marine (sea green), deep sapphire blue, light blue, milky 
blue, deep orange, brown, dusky red, deep garnet, jacinth 
(tawny red), and rose color. All of these stones of so many 
hues were veritable diamonds, and most of them passed into 
the hands of the well-known English firm of Hunt and llos- 
kell, who showed them to the world at the Great Exhibition 
of 1851. 



Diamonds are found in Ilindostan, Borneo, Sumatra, Brazil, 
the Ural Mountains, Australia, and South Africa.f If we can 
believe what is recorded on the subject, India formerly pro- 
duced an immense number. Ta vernier, a French jeweler, 


* This gem was recently in the possession of a Parsce, who sold it to an Indian 

t They are said also to have been found in North America. There seems little 
doubt that small ones have been picked up in California. 


who traveled in the East about the middle of the seventeenth 
century, mentions that in his time the mines of Golconda 
employed 60,000 persons. Farechta, the historian, asserts 
that the Sultan Mahmoud (1 117-1206) left at his death more 
than too pounds weight of diamonds. If these statements 
he even approximately correct, the diamond mines of llindo- 
stan are now comparatively exhausted. At the present day, 
the principal are at Sumhhulpore, where the business is he- 
reditary in two tribes, supposed to be descendants of slaves 
imported for the purpose. They number between 400 and 
500 persons, possess sixteen villages, and work during the 
dry season in the bed of the Mahanuddy, from Kinderpore 
to Sinepore. Although Golconda has been always famous 
for its diamonds, the fact is that they were merely polished 
there, being generally found at Parteall, near the southern 
frontier of the Nizam's dominions. This extensive territory 
lies to the north-west of the Presidency of Madras, and its 
principal river is the Godavery, with numerous tributaries. 
The metamorphic rocks of the Eastern and Western Ghauts 
continue to the north of the Godavery, and the triangular 
region inclosed between these great mountain ranges and 
that river is principally covered with trappean rocks, although 
scattered portions of secondary and tertiary strata are to be 
found.* A distinguished traveler (M. Voysey), in his "Asi- 
atic Researches," states, that at one place where diamonds 
were found, he particularly noticed a range of hills, named 
the Nalla Alalia, or Blue Mountains, composed of schistose 
rocks of all varieties, from clay slate to pure limestone, 
accompanied with quartz rock sandstone, sandstone brescia, 
flinty slate, and a tuiraeeous limestone containing embedded, 
rounded, and angular masses of all these rocks. " These are 
bounded on all sides by granite, which appears to pass under 
and form the base. The only rock of this formation on which 
the diamond is found is the sandstone brescia." 

The physical conformation of Borneo and Sumatra is sim- 

*Ei alitor nine years ago, geological surveyors under Professor Oldham, were 
appointed, and by means of their labors a great deal of information has been ob- 
tained ; but only the general features of the geological structure of India are yet 


ilar. In the latter island the mountain systems are of trachyte 
granite, limestone, red sandstone, and a wide-spread conglom- 
erate composed of granitic and quartzose particles, the hoi- 
lows in many places being filled with lava. In the valleys 
tertiary deposits are found. Gold is widely diffused • and 
here it seems desirable to call the reader's special attention to 
the fact, that in every country where diamonds are found, 
gold has cdso been discovered in large quantities. Dr. Gar- 
dner* found gold mines in existence within the diamond 
regions of Brazil, and speaks of « a vein proceeding down- 
ward through a soft, white, arenacious, schistose rock. I 
found them occupied in washing the material they had taken 
out, which proved to be very uncertain in its product, some 
days yielding one, two, and three ounces of gold." From the 
Ural Mountains, in the year 18G2, no less than 6,660 English 
lbs. of gold were extracted. The heaviest nugget found 
weighed 80 lbs. This chain is composed principally of crys- 
talline and metamorphic rocks, granite, porphyry, gneiss, 
chloritic and micaceous schists. Humboldt foretold that 
diamonds would be discovered here, and his prophecy has 
been fulfilled. Besides these there are large and beautiful 
emeralds, as well as the beryl, topaz, and amethyst.f It is 
well known that when, in 1840, Count Strelecki submitted to 
Sir Roderick Murchison a series of Australian rock and min- 
eral specimens, that experienced geologist recognized in 
them such a remarkable resemblance to the auriferous rocks 
of the Ural Mountains as to make him positive that the 
precious metal would be found in large quantities within 

In that vast island an immense central expanse of tertiary 
beds is surrounded by a continuous belt of plutonic and me- 
tamorphic rocks. Numerous and often extensive patches of 
igneous rocks are found through primary, secondary, or ter- 
tiary strata, and a broad strip of palaeozoic rocks extends 

from the shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria to Bass's Straits. 

■ — ' — — » 

* " Travels in the Interior of Brazil, principally through the Northern Provinces 
and the Gold and Diamond Diftricti." By George Gardner, M.D., F.L S Second 

t Some emeralds found on the eastern slope, in the district of Ekaterinburg weteh 
13dwts. 9 grains. b 


There can be no doubt about the similarity of the geology of 
Se auriferous regions of Australia to those of South-Eastern 
Africa, and in the sequel it will be shown that, so far from 
our own diamond and gold fields presenting any exception to 
geological rules, they are merely additional instances o nbcu 
accuracy. In Brazil, diamonds are usually found in diUu* lal, 
travelly soil, but Dr. Gardner (page 346) states positively, 
"That I not however, the matrix in which they have origin- 
ally teen formed. Whatever may be the case in other coun- 
t L, I remain perfectly satisfied that here they have origin- 
ally been formed in the metamorphic quarto-schistose rock of 
whin the mountains in the diamond district are constituted 
andThatthey have, during a long series of years, been washed 
Sown along with the other debris." These metamorphic 
roX being rather soft, are easily. disintegrated, and small 
Ites have frequently been found containing diamonds .en, 
bedded in them. In Brazil, when the diamond formation 
cotilts of loose gravel, it is called « cascalho , ' .and ^n 
of ferruginous conglomerate, it is named " canga. Dian onds 
fre generally found in an agglomerate of rounded pebbles 
and Ld, formed by the decomposition of gramte »d L»« 
slate The bed varies from one to four leet in thickness 
Tne '« cascalho " generally rests upon a substratum oi hard 
clay, beneath whfch are found the solid chistose rocks which 
gen rally prevail throughout the diamond *"**J*»* 
times « canga" rests upon a kind of limestone, in which case 
it is always found to be rich in diamonds. 

The following is the manner in which washing is earned 
on : along one side of a pond of water a range ol t.-o^hs is 
placed, whose sides next the watei aic low. u 
£ouU gravel is placed, on which water is immediately 
daTed with great force. By this means, and stirring at Ire- 
quen intervals with a small kind of hoe, it is reed Iron 
Z£ and sand, when the larger particles 0* graveUre _ taken 
out and any large diamonds .are found. The laboi is con 
timmd from y morning until four o'clock hi the ^J^J 
the "cascalho," now cleansed and purified, ts earned Jp the 
side of a little stream of running water to be finally washed 
At this operation each man has a large, flat, wooden vessel, 



which he uses for washing out the gravel. This is called a 
bateia, and in the bottom of it is always found a small quan- 
tity of gold dust, which is carefully preserved.* It is spe- 
cially worthy of note that it has been satisfactorily proved, 
by means of specimens sent to the Royal Society of Edin- 
burgh, that the Brazil diamond deposits are exactly similar 
to some of those in Hindostan, situate in a quartzose mica 
slate, or itacalumite. 

Since Dr. Gardner visited Brazil in 1836, large additional 
fields have been discovered; and Captain Burton f mentions 
that the great Province of Bahia only commenced to work 
its Chapada or diamantine plateau in 1845-6, and now ex- 
tends its wealth almost to the seaboard. The rivers Para- 
hyba du Sul, Verde, and Tibagy, in the provinces of Sao 
Paulo and Parana, have produced diamonds ; and " evidently 
Brazil has a vast extent of diamantine ground reserved for 
future generations to work with intelligence, and especially 
by means of machinery." I He says prospecting for diamonds 
is done as follows: " The vegetable humus, the underlying 
clay, and the desmonte or inundation sand are removed by 
the almocatre (an oval-shaped, blunt-headed iron), till the la- 
borers reach the gem-bearing ' cascalho.' This first work is 
usually an open cut of a few feet square. The larger frag- 
ments of quartz are then removed by the hand, the gravel is 
washed in a bacco, canoa, or cuyaca, and finally the bateia is 
used." At the Jequitinhonha diamond diggings, Burton found 
a strong dyke of ashlar and earth run out from the right 
bank to the mid-stream of the Rio das Pedras, and machinery 

* This privilege of diamond- washing has for many years ceased to be a Government 
monopoly in Brazil. One writer estimates that, " within the space of fourteen leagues 
square, it is beneath the mark to state that 10,000 individuals subsist entirely upon the 
product of diamonds and gold extracted from its soil. I was assured that the excite- 
ment produced by this kind of life is like that of a gambler— whoever enters upon it 
never renounces it." 

t " Explorations of the Highlands of the Brazil, with a full account of the Gold and 
Diamond Mines. ,, By Captain Richard F. Burton. 1869. 

t In another place (vol. ii., p. 154) he remarks : " As yet the diamantine formations 
of the Brazil have been barely scratched, and the works have been compared with 
those of beavers. The rivers have not been turned ; the deep pools above and below 
the rapids, where the great deposits must collect, have not been explored even with 
the diving helmet ; the dry method of extraction, long ago known in Hindostan, is 
still here unknown." If Brazil has not been even scratched, what has been done to 
South Africa ? 



with water motive power at work. At the Canteiro mine, 
which had previously been given up as exhausted, £6,000 
were spent by Sr. Vedigal before be got it into proper work- 
ing order. During the season, three hundred slaves are em- 
ployed, and the monthly expense is. £750. When the rich 
cascalho or canga is struck, it is at once disposed in heaps 
near the lavadeiro or washing place, which is an open 
thatched ranch containing troughs, each four feet long, three 
feet broad, and one deep. The system of diamond-washing 
already described is copied from Ilindostan, with a few im- 
provements, such as the peneira, or sieve pan, fitted at the 
bottom with a piece of tin pierced with holes, averaging six 
to the inch, and arresting stones of half a carat. The most 
scrupulous care is taken that the smallest gems do not escape, 
and a good washer employs from half an hour to three-quar- 
ters of an hour to exhaust a single panfull. So absolutely 
necessary is washing considered to be, that where it is not 
possible, no attempt is made to find diamonds. The owners 
of mines suffer very heavily from constant thefts, and a re- 
ceiver of stolen goods settles near every new diffffinff* as 
surely as a public-house follows a hydropathic establishment. 
In describing the Sao Joao mine, Burton says: "Through the 
ferruginous sandstone and the white felspathic matter run 
dykes and lines of fragmentary rock crystal. Large pieces 
of imperfect specular iron and thin strata of quartz, yellow 
and brown at the junction, thread the argile; and I was 
shown a specimen of fine sandy conglomerate, blackened and 
scarified by the injection of melted matter. Lieut.-Colonel 
Brant gave me a fragment of large-grained clay, reddish- 
colored with oxide, and showing a small brilliant imbedded 
in it." During the first twenty years of diamond discovery 
in Brazil, no less than 1,000 ounces of diamonds were an- 
nually obtained. Castelnau (vol. h\, p. 398) estimates the 
total value of the Minas Gerais exportation at 300,000,000 
francs; and, coining down to recent times, it is stated in Mr. 
Nathar's annual report (Rio de Janeiro) that from 1861 to 
1867, diamonds to the value of £1,888,000 have been sent out 
of the country. 



When I first went to the fields, over a year ago, there was 
a great scarcity of the proper kind of sieving-wire ; most of 
the stuff sent there was either too small or too large in the 
mesh ; or else the wire from which it was made was too fine, 
and would not last more than a month before breaking: 
through. Once in a while a small lot of the right kind would 
arrive, which would be immediately bought up at an extrava- 
gant figure. Upon my arrival at the fields the second time, 
after an absence of seven months, and during my five months' 
stay there, no improvement had been made in this respect, 
although the merchants had known of the want of good 
sieving for over a year, but had not sent the proper order 
home to meet it ; and consequently good sieving was to be 
had in very small quantities, and once in a while only, and 
even poor sieving was difficult to find. The kind of sieving 
needed there should be one-eighth of an inch mesh clear, and 
the wire should be No. 10, or the sixteenth of an inch in 
thickness. Now, the one-eighth inch mesh will allow two 
out of five half-carat diamonds to pass through, but not a 
three-quarter carat one ; and it does not pay the miner to 
sort over the great amount of fine stuff that would accumu- 
late if a finer mesh was used for saving a half-carat diamond. 
The time saved in not sorting this fine stuff could be more 
advantageously used in getting through a much larger quan- 
tity of coarse stuff, thereby coming to a larger diamond, and 
working out the claim quicker than otherwise — and time is 
diamonds there. Any one shipping a few thousand yards of 
the above-mentioned wire could dispose of it for at least a 
pound sterling a yard. The American Engine Company 
brought about fifty yards of this kind of wire from America, 
and when they were about to leave the fields they sold it for 
£2 a yard, and hundreds inquiring for more. 

Another thing greatly needed at the mines is twenty-pound 
sledge-hammers, for breaking up the hard lumps that are 
taken out of the white strata at De Beer's New Rush ; a few 
thousands of these would sell at a pound sterling each. While 
speaking of these hard lumps, I may as well mention that 


thousands of cart-loads are hauled out into the veld every 
week and they, most undoubtedly, contain diamonds-and 
large ones too. Now, if any one has inventive genius 
enough to make a simple, cheap, and cheaply-working ma- 
chine to crush these lumps-wttAotrf crushing the diamonds 
-there is a larger fortune for him lying about loose in this 
veld than has ever been accumulated in South Africa by any 
one man. One of the most important drawbacks to living 
and mining at the dry diggings is the want of water The 
dams supply water for the cattle, but is too impure for human 
beings, and the numerous wells do not supply a sufficient 
quantity for drinking. There are two ways of supplying this 
deficiency, one requiring at least £10,000 to be invested and 
the other not more than £500, but not so sure as the first. 
The first would consist of a line of sheet-iron pipes running 
from the nearest fall or drift on the Vaal Paver over hill 
and dale, to the highest point at or near Du Toits Pan 
and De Beer's, which point is 130 feet higher than the \ aa 
River, and the distance is sixteen miles. A great many will 
think it absurd to lay a sheet-iron pipe, as they imagine that 
it will easily corrode and burst ; but this is a mistake A 
sheet-iron piping could be made, and has been made in 
Sweden and used in California, say eleven inches m diameter, 
and galvanized, that would stand a pressure of a column of 
water 350 feet high, and last for years. Through this piping 
water could he forced at the rate of say ten miles an hour 
which would give as much water at the reservoir at Da 
Toit's Pan as could be floated in a four-foot canal at two 
miles an hour. The water would be forced through the 
pTpSg by a hydraulic engine, worked by a French tuvbine 
w teitwheel that could be set alongside of the Vaal River at 
he mouth of a four-foot race, with a fall of ten feet only. 
Tins motive power would not have need of much attention; 
one man could attend it. The piping could be laid on the 
surface, and when full of water, and the pressure on an ele- 
phant could not make an impression upon it. Of course, it 
could be sunk or carried over the roads. From the reservoir 
the water could be led in all directions by its own press- 
ure for miles and miles. The spot where I would propose to 

■ m 


build the reservoir is the highest between the Vaal and Mod- 
der Rivers, and half-way between Do Beer's and Du Toit's 
Pan (about three-quarters of a mile from each). An immense 
dividend could be made from this water by supplying the in- 
habitants with drinking and washing water at a penny a 
bucket. I have paid sixpence a bucket at the New Rush, and 
found it difficult to get it at that price. Now, there are say 
25,000 people at the three camps — Du Toit's Pan, De Beer's, 
and the New Rush — and there will be this number there, if 
not more, for at least five years, and perhaps twenty-five 
years, as the pay-dirt extends to a much greater depth than 
at any other previously-discovered deposit. At least three 
buckets a day would be used for each person ; anyhow, an 
aggregate of 50,000 a day, which would make an income alone 
of over £100 a day. Secondly, from water sold for min- 
ing purposes. As soon as a miner finds out that by using 
water at say 25. a day, he can dispense with four laborers that 
cost him 125. a day, and do the same amount of work much 
better, he will most undoubtedly purchase the water, thus 
giving an income of £200 a day to the stockholders of the 
water company ; and, lastly, the immense advantage to the 
farms, the owners of which would be willing to pay a good 
round sum for irrigating water (one farmer offered £1,500 for 
a running stream of three inches to be taken from the reser- 
voir). There is no doubt but that water-works carried on as 
above described would pay for themselves in less than two 
months after they had been laid down ; and they could be 
laid down and put in working order in four months from the 
time that the order was sent to Europe for the material. The 
greatest cost of the whole affair would be transportation from 
the South African port to the fields, which alone would be 
about £4,000. 

The other or cheaper plan of procuring water, but rather un- 
certain, would be to sink artesian wells ; but the objection to 
this is the uncertainty of getting sufficient water for drinking 
purposes only, and the uncertainty of cost. The last sug- 
gestion that I have to make is starting vegetable gardens. 
Now, a Californian would get about twenty acres of land 
from some " chuckle-headed " Dutchman, and plant cabbages, 


cauliflowers, tomatoes, onions, etc, and make his everlasting 

dividend therefrom. J - L - ' 

N B _The above is not particularly for the benefit ot the 
speculator, but if carried out will benefit the miner much. 


A correspondent, writing from Ilopetown on the 26th of 

last month, says : , 

« What is the real diamond matrix ? has been asked over 
and over again in the diamondiferous tracts of Brazil and 
India They have been found imbedded in a micaceous sand- 
stone' in Brazil, and in a conglomerate sandstone of India, but 
neither of these is believed to be the ultimate matrix. It may 
be that a region which has undergone no changes since the 
secondary geological epoch, except those of gradual and 
uniform denudation, like South Africa, may, by ultimate 
investigation, solve the problem. At all events, I do not 
believe that the diamonds have been carried down by the 
Vaal The Vaal region, I feel persuaded, has been the the- 
ater 'of diamond formation. The component rocks represent- 
ed in the water-worn pebbles are from the strata and forma- 
tions of the Vaal— and why not the diamonds ? 

'< This is not the place to enter upon any purely geological 
discussion. I can not go into details involving the use ot geo- 
logical terminology in a popular newspaper, and therefore what 
I have said must suffice. One thing, however, may be said in 
dismissing the subject, that the geology of the Vaal region is 
alto-ether different from the secondary and trappen forma- 
tions of the colony. When the traveler passes through the 
Free State by Fauresmith, he has the tabular mountains and 
Ltzkops so common and all-prevailing in South Africa, till 
f anlvcs within a few hours' distance of the Vaal. A mani- 
fest change sets in, and for miles on miles there is a luxunant 
and undulating plain, almost undisturbed by any hills. He 
feels that the,^ is a break in the structure of the country. 
When he comes to the Vaal, an entirely different landscape 
appears before him. The perpetual greenstone porphyries 
of the colony have vanished, and genuine basalt makes its 
appearance. This basalt he finds protruding through con- 



glomerate and amygdaloid trap. Glittering pebbles of every 
form and color glisten at his feet, and he feels indeed that he 

is in a new rem on. 

" It might be considered desirable that I should give some 
opinion as to the exact nature of the gravelly mass in which 
diamonds are more abundantly found. I was careful to 
question the diggers on this subject, and as a matter of course 
got very variable information. Some prefer the summits of 
* the kopies rather than the sides, and this opinion is supported 
by some show of reason, as extensive washing by rain and 
surface water must carry away the accumulation of gravel 
from the slopes. But surely the kloofs filled with sand must 
have under the surface the greater part of the alluvium of 
the sides. There is no attempt made to penetrate through 
this sand to the gravel underneath, as yet, by the diggers, 
and, indeed, their mining is altogether surface work and mere 
scraping, to what it ought to be. The time will come when 
the kloofs and hollows will be dug into and searched, and, I 
believe, with success. 

" In regard to the constituent stones of good diamondifer- 
ous gravel, satisfactory information cannot be got. Some 
diggers prefer a light-colored and sparkling gravel ; others, 
again, are greatly in favor of dark, pebbly soil. Diggers 
generally eschew gravel w T ith quartz fragments (not water- 
worn) in it. Rotten ironstone pebbles (basalt) are considered 
a favorable sign. For many reasons, which I cannot discuss 
in this letter, I am inclined to think that the best indications 
are garnets (what diggers style rubies) and peridot (a blue, 
transparent crystal). 

" One point, and I must conclude this letter. The tops of 
the kopies considerably above the present water-level are men- 
tioned above as having alluvial soil, consisting of thoroughly 
worn and rounded pebbles. A casual observer will quickly 
perceive that there have been upheavals, and probably suc- 
cessive, evervwhere. The basalt of the summits has wed<:e- 
shaped crevices, wide at the top and narrowing downward. 
Forming at one time the bottom of the river, the kopies have 
been raised, and the alluvial gravel has fallen into the inter- 
stices to some extent, the greater part remaining as a cover 


to the kopies, or rather appearing now as a sort of matrix in 
which the angular blocks of basalt are imbedded." 


After a five months' absence, Mr. Jerome L. Babe, the 
well-known representative in this colony of the Winchester 
Repeating Rifle Company, has returned to Capetown from 
the diamond fields, where he has been singularly successful 
both in finding and purchasing diamonds. During his stay 
at the fields he exported to England and America over fifteen 
hundred diamonds, of which one hundred were as large as 
twenty-seven carats, and the smallest ten. He has brought 
with him 275 picked diamonds, which are said to be the finest 
collection that has ever been seen in this town. They are 
exhibited in a little glass-covered case, and the singular bril- 
liancy and perfect shape of all the gems are remarkable. 
They are complete octahedrons, and one of them, of eight 
carats, is, perhaps, of its size, the most perfect gem that has 
been found at the fields. These he intends taking with him 

to America. 

Mr. Babe, in leaving this colony, will have the satisfaction 
of being one of the most successful of those who have visited 
the diamond fields of South Africa. In addition to this, all 
the arms imported under his direction have been disposed of 
in the colony. Mr. Babe is brimful of racy stories of " the 
diamondiferous regions," and his experience will not deter his 
countrymen from giving us a look up. 

It is not at all unlikely, if Mr. Babe's other engagements 
do not deter him, that he will give during the ensuing winter 
a series of illustrated lectures in the chief cities of the United 
States. He takes home with him sketches of the diamond 
country, the camps, and the mode of life of the diggers, and 
he has specimens of soil and gravel. These lectures will do 
more to give the people of America a correct estimate of our 
fields than anything that has been said or written about them 
yet. A casket of diamonds, valued at £5,000, will be one of 
the great attractions of these lectures.— Capetown paper. 




WW if ©It® 
Corner of Adderley and Hout Sts., 


S. R. Stuttaford & Co., 

Drapers, Hosiers, Hatters, Haberdashers, 

Cloth and Carpet Warehousemen, 

Are receiving per each Mail Steamer 


And always keep in Stock a Superior Assortment of Gentlemen's, Silk 
and Felt Hats; also, a large supply of Cloths, Coatings, Angolas, 
Tweeds, and Doe-skins; White Shirts, Flannel Shirts, Collars, Neck- 
Ties, Scarfs, Braces, Pocket-Handkerchiefs, Dress and Colored Kid 
Gloves, Dog-skin and Tilbury Driving Gloves, Umbrellas, Carpet and 
Leather Bags, Solid Leather Portmanteaus, Socks, Hosiery, Towels, 
Cotton, Merino, and Lamb's-wool Pants and Under-Vests ; Traveling 
Rugs, Black, Brown, Drab, and California-color Cords and Mole-skins. 


Stays, Jackets, Mantles, Straw Goods, Millinery. Shawls and Dress 
Materials in great variety. Silks, Satins, and Velvets, in Black and 
Colored, in well-assorted qualities. 


A good assortment of Blankets, Counterpanes, Sheetings, Table 
Damask, Carpets, Floor Cloth, Cloth and Damask Table Covers, Muslin 
Curtains, Muslin, Duck, and Wagon Canvas, Drills, American Leathers, 
Cart Trimmings. 

Ladies' and Children's Gloves, Hosiery, Lace, Bibbons, Buttons, 
Trimmings. Haberdashery of all descriptions. 

Samples of any description of Cut Material forwarded to any pare 
of the Colony. It will be to the interest of our country friends to for- 
ward their orders direct ; by so doing they will be enabled to obtain, 
per post-cart or transport wagon, 

First-class Articles at very Reduced Prices. 
Note the Address — 



C-A.I»ETO'W _ 3Sr. 

&L U XwJuJjJu^i 9 



@©£@l'Mli FE@®W©E 

Buys Rough Diamonds at highest market rates, and makes 
liberal advances on Produce consigned to his Agents, 


Bllliter Square, London, England. 


39 St. George's Street, 


Merchants & Commission Agents. 



and other Colonial Produce suitable for the American market, 
promptly attended to. 

Liberal advances made on Consignments. 


Messrs. REYNOLDS & CUSHMAN, New York, 

9 Idol Lane, London. 









Boston and New York : ISAAC TAYLOR. 




Beg to announce their having opened the LEVIATHAN HOTEL, 
in the most central position of DU TOIT'S PAN, where the weary 
traveler will find every comfort. Good Single and Doable-Bedded 
Rooms, spacious Dining Saloon, replete with every comfort and 

Brilliant Bar, with best of everything drinkable. 

Luxurious Card and Lounging Rooms, Lavatories, etc., and a good 
staff of attendants on man and beast. 



Late of King WUUamstoicn and Pniel. 





On the 11th July, 1870, 

Are now Open to the Trade of the World. 

They consist of an INNER BASIN of ten acres, with a depth of 24 
feet low water, with an entrance 100 feet wide, and an OUTER BASIN 
of six acres ; the whole protected by a BREAKWATER extending 
1,900 feet into the Bay. 

The Dues for Vessels entering the Docks are 6d. per ton register for 
one month, and Id. per ton per week afterward. 

There are 

No Harbor, Light, or any other Dues Chargeable 
on Shipping Frequenting the Port. 

In the Inner Basin of the Dock there is a PATENT SLIP, capable 
of taking up vessels of 1,500 tons burden, and the charges are: 

For vessels of 50 tons and under, £15 for ten days, and £3 per day after. 

Vessels over 50 tons, taken up for repairs, 7 s. 6d. per register ton for 
ten days, and £6 per day after. 

Iron vessels taken up for cleaning and painting only, 5s. per register 
ton for ten days, and £6 for every day after. 

Steamers charged according to their gross tonnage. 

The Ten Days are Exclusive of Sundays. 
The days of taking up and launching are reckoned as one. 

The Purest Water is Delivered on Board of Vessels in the 

Docks at Three Shillings per Ton. 

JSy order of the Board. 



Table Bay Harbor Commission Office, 

Capetown, July, 1870. 


in? n If 

Hough and Cut, 





G. A. 


Watchmaker, Jeweler, and Optician, 


Opposite the Central Hotel, 


G. A. B.'s long acquaintance with this Colony enables him to direct 
his particular attention to Importing that class of Articles which are 
best adapted for general wear in this climate, and begs to inform his 
Customers and the Public that he has always in Stock 

•MI mi Sifter SagXfeli s«4 toawa 


Fine Gold Jewelry 

Of Every Description and Latest Designs. 

Diamond Scales and Weights, Magnifying Glasses, Emery 
Files, Colored and Plain Spectacles, Goggles, 
Telescopes, Fieid and Night Glasses, 
Compasses and Nautical In- 
struments, etc. 


Guarantee Given for every Watch Sold or Repaired. 

W- All new work and Repairs intrusted to G. A. B.'s care are 
executed on the Premises. 

Orders from the Fields punctually attended to in the shortest pos- 
sible Time, 






No. 1 





23 Adderley St. & 2 Shortmarket St., 



Photographic and Pancy Goods, 

Has always on hand a large stock of the choicest of fine Gold Jewelry, 
Silver Cups, Inkstands, Snuff Boxes, Silver Electro-plated Ware, 
Cutlery, Perfumery and Scented Soap, Telescopes and Opera-Glasses, 
Musical Boxes, Diamond Scales, Microscopes, Emery Files for testing 
Diamonds, Gold and Silver Watches, and Clocks. 

E. B. being a Practical Optician, would recommend parties whose 
sight is failing to call at his establishment for 


as they can be manufactured to suit every sight. Also, colored glass 
Spectacles for the Fields. 

Photographs of Capetown, Diamond Fields, and the different Native 
Tribes. Diamonds, Old Gold, and Silver Bought. 

23 Adderley Street and 2 Shortmarket Street. 

quick: passage 






This Company starts a Steamer on the first of each Month. The 
Port of Departure is London. The Vessel calls at Dartmouth to em- 
bark Mails and Passengers. 

The Steamers are First-Class ones of 2,000 tons and 600 Horse- 
Power. The Passenger Accommodation is 



Chief Cabin 30 Guineas | 2d Class 20 Guineas 

The Agents in England are 

Messrs. PAYNE & CO., 


And at the Cape, 
















G. H. PAYNE & CO. 



.AjxTCDEiisoisr <sc :m:tt:riso:n-. 

Masonic Hotel, 



First-Class Hotel of Capetown. 

Its position is central, and within two minutes' walk of the principal 
Landing Wharf. 

No Hotel in Capetown is possessed of the advantages such as those 
secured for the 

The Cuisine is Unequaled. 

And every Attention is shown. 






Passengers arriving in the Colony should not fail to engage Apart- 
ments at this Hotel. 

m^so:ntc hotel, 



N f. 




Strand Street and St. George's Street, 

Importer of British and Foreign 




Machinists' Tools of Every Description , 
Colorznens' Materials, Oils, Paints, Varnish, Brush-ware, etc. 

Furnishing Ironmongery, Hollow-ware, Enamel-ware, Cutlery, 

Albataware Cutlery, 

Tinware, Washing Basins, Baths, Tea and Coffee-Pots, 


Merchants and Country Dealers Supplied at the Lowest W/iolesale Bates. 

G. S. HOLMES & CO., 





Agents for the 

Agents for the 



Boston : Messrs. W. F. Weld & Co., Messrs. II. W, Peabody & Co. 
New York : Messrs. W. W. Db Forest & Co., Frederick Baker, Esq. 

Messrs. Holmes & Co. have been Established here over Thirty 
Years, and are thoroughly acquainted with the Business and Resources 
of the' Colony. Large Stocks of 



HT Consignments or Orders for the Purchase of Produce will 
receive Prompt and Careful Attention. 







Three Million Pounds (£3,000,000) Sterling. 



London Bankers : 

Aliwal North, Beaufort West, Capetown, Colesberg, Cradock, 
Durban (Natal), Graham'stown, King William's Town, Klip 
Drift (Diamond Fields), Mossel Bay, Pieter Maritz 
burg (Natal), Fort Elizabeth, Richmond, Somer- 
set East, Uitenhage, Victoria West. 

General Manager in South Africa— ROBERT STEWART, Esq. 

Agents — British and Colonial. 








UNION BANK OF AUSTRALIA (Australia and New Zealand). 

Agents — Fore ign. 
In United States of America: 

New York.. Messrs. ROWLAND & ASPINWALL. 
Boston Messrs. WARREN & CO. 


Every description of Banking business connected with South Africa 
or elsewhere conducted on the most favorable terms. 

Undertakes the realization of Diamonds and other precious Stones, 
in any of the chief markets of the world which the owners may select, 
accounting for the proceeds, in gold, at the Diamond Fields, at any of 
the Branches in South Africa, at the Head Office in London, or else- 

Persons proceeding to South Africa, or having payments to make 
there, can obtain Drafts or Letters of Credit on any of the Branches 
there, either by direct application to the Head Office in London, or 
through any of the Agents of the Bank. 



Hough and Cut 


«» «« ♦ 

Mr. Babe goes to Europe four times a year, purchases Rough Dia- 
monds from tlie 

South African Diamond lines, 

has them cut, and is thus enabled to supply the American Trade with 


Finest Diamonds 


Address to 

3,217 Sansom Street, 

Philadelphia, Pa. 




nnlllll 141& 



Inland Transport Company. 


The Company's Wagons, for the Conveyance of Passengers and 
Parcels, leave Capetown by the shortest route for the Pniel Diamond 
Fields by the 7.16 Train every Thursday and Saturday Morning, re- 
turning to Capetown on the Monday fortnight following by the 6.30 
A.M. Train from Wellington. 

To enable Passengers to reach the Fields in the time named, con- 
tinuous relays of Cattle are employed. 

Refreshments may be obtained at any of the Stopping Places at 
very reasonable Rates. 


To Beaufort West £5 

To Victoria West 6 

To Hopetown 9 

To the Diamond Fields 12 

401b. Luggage allowed. Extra Luggage by Special Agreement. 
Packages and Parcels are conveyed to 

Beaufort or Victoria West, at Gd. per pound. 

To Hopetown, at 9d. per pound. 

To the Diamond Fields, at 1.9. 3^?. per pound. 

The Vehicles may be inspected by intending Passengers; and any 
further information, either as regards Time-tables or Intermediate Fares, 
obtained by application to the undersigned. Information can also be 
obtained at the Commercial Exchange, or at the Railway Station, 

Passengers and Parcels are booked at the Office of the Company, 
Grave Street, one door from Darling Street, Capetown, Cape of Good 
Hope. Information can also be obtained at the Commercial Exchange 
and the Railway Station in Capetown. Passengers' Luggage must 
be delivered and weighed on or before Wednesday Evening at five 





London & American Manufactures, 


Always pn hand, 

SCOTCH CABTS, CRADLES, and the right 
sort of PICKAXES and SHOVELS. 

Parties going to the DIAMOND FIELDS will do well to FIT 
themselves out here in JACOBSDAL, as it is only thirty-six miles 
from the Main Diggings, and goods bought here will be forwarded 
with our own wagons to the Diggings, free of charge. 


have been personally selected by our Mr. Isaac Sonnenberg, who 
has had seventeen years' experience in Mining in California, Nevada, 
Idaho, and Montana Territory, U. 8. America. 

Give us a call as you pass through, as it is the nearest route to the 

Any information about New Camps, and so fortb given toithout 



JACOBSDAL, O. F. State. 
January, 1871. 


Branch Houses at 
Du Ton's Pan and the New Rushes. 


Winchester Repeating 




30 Slots a Minute as a Single Loader. 


rtins Rifle in the World 



Metallic Waterproof Cartridges. 

tPriee, from $60 lo $ 700, 


CARTRIDGES $20 PER 1,000. 

Manufactured at New Haven, Conn. 

Soli If all Gunsmiths throughout the Union, 


Messrs. G. S. HOLMES & CO., 

Messrs. TAYLOR, KEMP & CO., 



Messrs. Henderson & Scott, 


These Rifles are Universally Used at the